INTERNATIONAL SERVICE PROJECT: OUR FOUNDER GOES TO BORNEO, MALAYSIA, AND THAILAND
My first few days in Sukau with the Hutan organization were incredible. They welcomed us into community as family. We learned games, dances, songs, and most incredible... We learned of the work this organization is doing to bring community based conservation to life. They are dedicated to making oil palm plantations regulated, safe, and sustainable for both the community that relies on this industry for survival and the wildlife that needs the rainforests to survive. I'm in awe of the work they do everyday!
We worked just 1 day, hiking through thick jungle, planting trees, and cutting grasses, and I was wiped out!! They do it everyday!!!!
The heat was intense and the humidity was unbearable!!!
My greatest takeaway, that really helped me to form my vision for TEP was the community engagement, and the very special care this organization took in making sure the local people were part of the planning, implementation, and sustainability of wildlife conservation, and oil palm regulations. The Hutan Organization, especially Harjinder Kler (she was amazing) really emphasized to focus on the long-term goals, and celebrate the little steps forward you make. It is an uphill struggle at times, and you will take steps backwards, but if we keep our goals in focus, we can achieve them!
I was truly inspired by the people of Sukau, and the way they have pulled together as a community gave me such motivation to come home to Colorado and get The Elevation Project off the ground and begin expanding our outreach throughout Colorado.
Thailand What a beautiful city Bangkok was. There is so much history and culture here. Getting on bicycle and exploring the less developed areas of Bangkok, meeting the local families that make this city run everyday, and understanding the pride and respect they carry in absolutely everything they do was truly an experience.
The things we learn as we travel the world can be life changing. Even when we don’t speak each others language, there is something truly magical about listening to one another, learning the cultures of communities, and trying to walk in someone else’s shoes will change the way you think about everything. It can force you to consider a point of view that you never even knew existed. Being able to bring these experiences to our youth in Colorado, and give them the opportunity to explore this beautiful planet we live on, is the greatest part of TEP for me.