Feb 012013

Two weeks to go and I’m preparing for my 6 week stint at the Elephant Refuge and Education Center (upps! centre, I mean. I have to get used to spelling it that way). I am very thankful to Global Volunteer Network (GVN) for facilitating this experience for me!

Here’s what I’ve been doing so far to get ready:

  • Plane tickets: I’ll be flying into Bangkok from Los Angeles with a layover in Hong Kong. ¬†There will be a driver to meet me to drive me to the Refuge. This is great because I am a novice international traveler and don’t want Bangkok to take me!
  • Immunizations: They aren’t required to be in Thailand unless you are traveling through an area with Yellow Fever. I went ahead with the recommended Diphteria/Tetanus and Hepatitis A. I’ve already had Polio and Hepatitis B vaccines as a child.
  • Visa: Since I’m going to be in Thailand for over 30 days, a tourist visa is required. I went to the Royal Thai Consulate in Los Angeles. All the information of what I needed was on their website (http://www.thaiconsulatela.org/index.aspx) and it was very quick and easy to get!
  • Supplies: GVN provided me with a checklist of what to take, which was extremely helpful. I love that my iPhone will cover multiple things on the list (hmm…now I better make sure it will work over there and that I can plug it in).
  • Clothing: I’m heading to Goodwill to pick up some appropriate clothing. I’ll be looking for board shorts (the shorts I own are much too short for the work and culture), long sleeved tees to prevent mosquito bites, and possibly a pair of adventure pants.
  • Packing: I’m hoping to fit everything in a 70L travel pack. I’d rather not check any luggage, so we’ll see how stuffed I can get this and still fit it in the overhead!
  • Money: 1.00 USD = 29.96 THB (Thai Baht) This is not the rate I will get as a tourist however. Now I need to figure out how many Bahts I need while in Thailand. I’ll be using Travelex for the exchange.

Mental state: Excited! Slightly nervous. Keeping busy with the preparations and learning Thai phrases. Cannot wait to meet the elephants!


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