Sawadee pee mai! (That’s Happy New Year in Thai.) Songkran is the celebration of the new year in Thailand. The year is 2560 BE, Buddhist Era. Thai people spend time with family, visit local temples, and offer food to Buddhist monks. People pour water on Buddha statues, representing purification and the washing away of your sins and bad luck. To show respect, young people also … Continue reading Songkran!
If you had asked me a year ago, never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I’d be spending so much quality time with elephants. I’ve spent a total of 6 weeks at Elephant Nature Park so far, and 2 weeks at Elephants World. That’s 8 weeks helping to care for, and bond with the elephants who call these sanctuaries home. I’ve always been … Continue reading Elephants are Still Awesome
I’m on the island of Koh Tao for 3 weeks. We’re learning about marine conservation and coral reefs. More on that later. Today was my first snorkel. After learning a bit about what we’d be seeing, we grabbed our gear and got on the boat. Gear included: wet suit, snorkel mask and tube thingy, fins, fish and coral id sheets, and sheet for recording what … Continue reading First Snorkel
“Our ocean, our responsibility.” My adventures in veterinary medicine continue with 3 weeks on Koh Tao (“Turtle Island”). We’ve partnered with the New Heaven Dive Shop and their reef conservation experts to learn about marine wildlife and conservation. Unfortunately Koh Tao’s namesake, the sea turtle, is endangered and can be a rare sighting. People come from all over the world to dive in Koh Tao. … Continue reading Turtle Island
The students got to swim with two sea turtles and watched them make out. I missed it. But, I got my turtle time when we went to Phuket. The Phuket Aquarium is home to a sea turtle nursery and rehab program run by the Thai government. Day one we checked out the nursery. Those are some beautiful, healthy looking turtles. They’re being raised big and … Continue reading Sea Turtles!
I went to Laos, with the students I’m working with, to get a new Thai visa that would let me stay in Thailand ’til the spring. Laos is my 21st country. Only 170 ish to go (depending on which official list you’re looking at)! 21 countries is no small feat. And some of those I visited more than once. From Chiang Mai we flew to … Continue reading Another Visa Run, Another New Country
I entered a contest called Around the World in 80 Pages, hosted by Navigator Paper. They chose my story as a finalist! 80 finalists were chosen out of over 1300 entries. My story is going to be published in a book, and I can still win a prize. Here’s the story I submitted, about the time I bought cookies from a convent of cloistered nuns … Continue reading Secret Cookie Selling Nuns
I meant to write this when my students left at the end of January. Then I broke my foot and got distracted. For 2 weeks in January I was the trip leader for another student group. Unlike over the summer, this group was pre-vet. All of the students want to go to veterinary school someday. You’d be correct in thinking I know nothing about veterinary … Continue reading Two Weeks Learning to be a Vet
There’s a first time for everything I guess. Aside from a pinky toe, which I don’t really think counts, I’ve never broken a bone. Now I have a broken foot, and my first ever cast and crutches. After a great time tubing on a river, the klutz that I am slipped on the river bank. I thought I just rolled my ankle like I’ve done dozens of … Continue reading I broke my first bone and got my first cast!
Back at ENP for a 6th week. Baby Dokrak is getting big. The park is still beautiful. When I said hi to Memphis, the dog, he licked my face. I think he remembers me. In case you’re wondering, seeing elephants does not get less exciting. They’re still magnificent and fascinating. I watched a beautiful sunrise on the first morning. Now that the rainy season is … Continue reading I’m back at Elephant Nature Park!
I was so busy relaxing I didn’t take any pictures. In New York there’s a place called Spa Castle. You can spend the whole day actively relaxing in saunas and hot baths. It was a spa amusement park. We were given bracelets that were scanned when we bought snacks so we didn’t have to carry around any money. Spending an entire day relaxing is hard … Continue reading A WHOLE day at a Korean bathhouse
When I left New York in May I packed for summer in Thailand. I was prepared for the year-round summer weather of southeast Asia. In case you were not aware, the weather in Seoul is similar to the weather in New York. So at the end of December it’s really cold. This week the temperature has hovered in the high 30s and low 40s Fahrenheit. … Continue reading I Wasn’t Prepared for Winter