Hi, my name is Rachel. I have recently spent 6 months doing an internship with GVI in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand. This is the second project I have been on with GVI in the space of a year. I have also been on the Seychelles project on Curieuse Island. The Elephant Re-introduction project in Thailand is so much more than I expected it to be. Yes, you go there to spend time learning about one of the most magnificent animals on the planet, but what you get out of your stay in Huay Pakoot is so much more. If you completely submerge yourself into village life, you will enjoy your project a whole lot more and become a better person. I loved the fact that you had the opportunity to learn ‘Pakinyaw’, a Karen Hill Tribe language that is barely written and is slowly disappearing, as villagers are now understanding/speaking Thai. I have been home for 2 months now and I still find myself saying ‘me ma de moo moo’ (good night, sweet dreams) every night before bed. Going back to the elephants, every morning at 7:30 we would leave for elephant hikes. Depending on the time of year, either you would get transport to the elephants or you would walk, sometimes for up to 8 hours a day. We collect 3 types of data on hikes, these are welfare checks, activity budgets and behavioural data. Watching these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat is something you will never forget. As part of my internship I had to lead hikes, which made me really nervous as I’m so clumsy. But the staff were fantastic and gave me so much support and encouragement and made me really feel like I could do it. Which I did on lots of occasions! The internship program was really good, and consists of 3 aspects - Elephants, plant diversity and community. I absolutely loved my time Huay Pakoot. The staff, villagers, volunteers and elephants, make this trip so special. I would recommend it to anyone.