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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

If it’s not about elephants, its irrelephant! – Community Service Thailand

Hello from the Golden Triangle! In our two days in the Golden Triangle, we have experienced so many awesome things! Upon arrival, we took a boat ride from which we were able to see Thailand, Burma, and Laos. From there, we went directly to start our elephant training. We learned how to get on an elephant, give it commands, and dismount it. Haley B. was very adventurous and learned how to get on it when the elephant was in a sitting position, while the rest of us learned how to climb its foot and leg. You could hear Ali telling her elephant “pai” (go forward) and Lauren K. telling hers to “how” (stop). We directed the elephants to the river, where Sammi, Rachel, and Hayley H. all got soaked! It was quite the sight to see.


That evening, we played a game of Family Feud. Jordan named her team “The Tanners” after the hit TV show “Full House”, while Jeremy gave each of this family members different relationships and personalities. After a lot of laughs and silly answers, Meryl, Eric, Andy, and Carly helped lead their team to victory.


The following day, we met with Josh Plotnik and his elephant research team. The purpose of his foundation (Think Elephants International) is to discover the habits, communication skills, and group dynamics of the species. Becca was able to help time some of the behavioral trials. Perri was able to get up close and personal with the elephants while feeding them. Everyone was surprised to learn how cognitive elephants really are.


We finished off the day with some dinner and a special surprise from our guides: They purchased floating paper lanterns in honor of Derek’s birthday! Georgia, Lauren F. and Abby had a fun time releasing them and we all were amazed how beautiful it was!

 Now, we are off to work with the Lahu village. We will update you as soon as we are out of the mountains! Ph?d khuy k?b khu? r?w!

The Westcoast Blogger

Do you want to be part of this community service program? Check out our Thailand trips for students and get ready for the experience of a lifetime with Westcoast Connection.