The photo in the prior newsletter was NOT of our Volunteer of the Year 2012: April McCarthy Morgan. This newsletter contains a photo of our wonderful winner! We regret the error.
Volunteer of the Year: April McCarthy Morgan!!
Now Announcing Volunteer of the Year – April McCarthy Morgan (on the right in the photo)!!
Throughout 2012, Globe Aware featured some of our favorite volunteers on our Facebook page each month as Volunteer of the Month. These volunteers competed to become Volunteer of the Year and win $500 for their next volunteer vacation by earning votes on Facebook. Every single one of these passionate and dedicated volunteers is excited about opportunities to give back to those in need around the world and about sharing their adventures with others. We are SO proud of all of our wonderful volunteers of the month and thank you all for all of your hard work, devotion, and enthusiasm. You are all making such a huge difference in the world! After tallying all the votes, we are excited to announce that April McCarthy Morgan has won Volunteer of the Year!! April will also receive $500 towards her next volunteer vacation, and we know that wherever she chooses to go, she will have a lasting impact on the people and community she encounters. Thank you April for being such an incredible volunteer and inspiration to all those around you!
Read more about Volunteer of the Month winners on the Globe Aware Website
Come with us on our newly organized educational based program over spring this March. For more details - CLICK HERE!
Titan Treasures of Thailand
Dogs may be considered a man’s best friend, but if elephants too were fluffy and cuddly, they would assuredly rival dogs for humans’ affections. There is no other animal on the planet like an elephant. Beyond their massive size and incredible strength, elephants are by far one of the most intelligent animal species, relatable to humans in countless ways. Not only are elephants mammals that give birth to, nurse, and raise their young, but they also formulate a complex social structure, including a social hierarchy within herds. Elephants are born as relatively helpless and must rely on maternal direction to learn how to behave. While males tend to become independent around adolescence, females stick together with their young in herds of 10-15, creating what is one of the most tight-knit animal societies on earth. With a lifespan of 60-80 years, these unique creatures display loyalty and companionship so deep that mourning and depression are not uncommon after the death of one in the herd. Evidently, unlike most animals, elephants can actually feel emotion, and often exhibit humor, playfulness, compassion, and sadness. These intelligent animals have even successfully demonstrated self-awareness by passing the test of recognizing themselves in the mirror. It is said that they are superior to humans in 3D spatial awareness, and a viewing of an elephant’s artistic skills in action would certainly confirm this fact for any observer. Moreover, elephants demonstrate true altruism, and have been seen coming to the rescue of members of the herd and of other animals, even when it puts themselves in danger.
It is no secret that elephants are astounding animals – so much more complex, intelligent, and sensitive than most people are aware of. Unfortunately, instead of roaming wild and free in their natural habitats, many elephants have been forced to dwell in improper and unhealthy living conditions. Some are mistreated in their use in circuses and tourism. Others have a special relationship with a mahout, or caretaker, but are unable to bring in enough income for the mahout to survive. Consequently, the mahouts resort to exploiting the elephants to beg for money on the streets.
Among the sparkling white beaches, the famous floating market of Bangkok, and the peaceful air of Buddhism, the magnificent country of Thailand is home to majestic Asian elephants. At the beginning of the 20th century, over 300,000 wild elephants could be found roaming through the forests of Thailand. Sadly, throughout the years elephants were used for work in the forest, hauling logs for deforestation to eventually destroy their own habitat. As the forest decreased, so did the number of elephants, until their population dwindled to a startling few thousand where it currently stands.
In the province of Surin, the Surin Provincial Government has responded to the elephant crisis by setting aside 2,000 acres of land as a protected environment where elephants can breed. While mahouts and their elephants dwell here, many of the elephants still do not experience an acceptable lifestyle. It is all too common for elephants to be chained up for a majority of the day, released only to entertain tourists or beg for money on the streets.
Globe Aware works directly with locally organized groups in Thailand that are working to create a sustainable life for both the mahout and the elephants without having to resort to abject living conditions. Volunteers can travel to Thailand and participate in providing economic opportunities in Surin for the mahouts. Since elephants must keep up with their massive size, they require an incredible amount of food. Finding food for their elephants can be a full time job, so volunteers are able to assist in growing and culling food. They also work to preserve and maintain the elephant’s habitat to prevent further dwindling of the precious space needed for their survival. With the help of volunteers, Globe Aware’s partner organizations provide job opportunities and sufficient income for mahouts in order to give the Thai elephants a better life.
If you are an animal lover of any sort, you’ll be absolutely amazed at the intelligence and gentleness of an elephant once you really get to know one. And if you’re not all that into animals, it’s almost guaranteed that a few hours around an elephant might just change your mind. These elephants, and mahouts, deserve a chance for a better quality life. Elephants have always been integrally intertwined in the unique history and culture of Thailand, and if we want to their story to continue as part of the country’s future, they need our help.
After all, who wouldn’t want to play with an 11,000 pound ellie friend, while enjoying some of the world’s best curry, most beautiful beaches, and most serene people?
Exciting news!! We’ve created Globe Aware Community Pages. Join here CLICK HERE
Our Community Pages include a forum to share experiences, stories, photos and videos, ask questions, get answers, or simply tell everyone how excited you are about your trip.
The volunteer vacation and Globe Aware experience is a rich and fulfilling event. No need to keep it all to yourself. This is why we have created this social media, and conversational hub.
Whether you are just beginning to consider a trip, about to go on your next volunteer vacation, or just want to have some fun interacting with other international volunteers, we’ve got you covered.
Travel the World in your Pijamas!
Globe Aware has joined Pintrest! Globe Aware has recently joined the online pinboard Pintrest. We are sharing beautiful photos for our volunteers past, present and future to add to their own boards. Globe Aware trips are perfect additions to your travel boards, wish list, or bucket list boards. Follow us today! See what other volunteers have experienced: the change they have made in communities as well as the breathtaking beauty of the destination.
Did you used to see photos of people and places you visited and got to know on one of our programs, and now you aren’t? There’s a reason and you can fix it. The new Facebook newsfeed shows only what Facebook terms “Top News” by default. Facebook decides what is top news (for you). If you add “volunteer abroad.” To find where Interest Lists are listed, on your home page, look way down on the left hand column. You may need to click the ‘More’ button, then you’ll see Interests and click the next ‘More’ button. (See screenshot below). This is the direct link to that page:
Find Facebook Interest Lists on your Home Page navigation On the next page, click on the Add Interests button and you’ll end up here: https://www.facebook.com/addlist On the list of Lists, you can hover over any List title and choose to subscribe from the hovercard (see screenshot below). Or, click the title of the List to see the stream (News Feed) of just that list and decide if you wish to subscribe. (The button is at the top right of the actual List page). Not only can you add stuff to your news feed to make it better, but you can also subtract items from your news feed. The best thing to do is to eliminate specific types of updates that annoy you--for many, it's the never-ending stream of gaming updates. The easiest way to zap posts like this is to strike them down where they stand. Let's say that updates from friends playing CityVille are driving you bananas. Hover over a CityVille gaming update, and click the down-facing arrow in the top right of the status area. At the bottom of the drop-down menu that appears, select the option that says Hide all by CityVille.
We’ll be shocked if someone tries this dish and doesn’t like it! There’s something about the fresh, zesty flavor of Thai curry that makes every indulger instantly fall in love. If you’ve been daydreaming lately about some zingy, mouth-watering authentic street food sold on a corner in Chiang Mai, your appetite is sure to be satisfied by this tasty bowl of Green Curry. A taste of heaven is only a few minutes away!
You will need:
1/2 lb. chicken breast tender, cut into bite-sized chunks
2 tbs. green curry paste, Mae Ploy brand
1 cup coconut milk, Mae Ploy brand
1 cup bamboo shoot, Buddha brand
3 kaffir lime leaves, split and thinly sliced
2 mini peppers, sliced
1/4 cup Thai basil leaves
1. Saute the green curry paste with oil over medium heat until fragrant, add 1/2 cup of coconut milk and stir until the oil surfaces. 2. Add the chicken and kaffir lime leaves, continue cooking until the chicken is almost done. 3. Add the remaining coconut milk, palm sugar and fish sauce. Bring to a boil. 4. Add the bamboo shoots, cook for 5 minutes or until the bamboo shoots are softened. 5. Add the basil, stir and remove from the heat.
"Friend" Globe Aware on Facebook and Follow Us on Twitter!
Globe Aware is on Facebook and we are also on Twitter and we would love it if you were to join us! Please become our friend on Facebook and follow Globe Aware on Twitter. Stay up-to-date with the latest news and the best bits about our many volunteer vacation destination, trips and volunteers. And after you've friended us, please feel free to write on our wall, leave us a comment, share a picture of yourself and invite your other friends to join us as well!