At a recent Upper School Meeting, students spoke about their unforgettable service trip to Laos and Cambodia this past summer as part of the MBS Global Studies Program.
In mid-June—after an 8-hour flight to Germany, a 12-hour flight to Singapore, a 3-hour flight to Thailand, and a 2-hour flight to Luang Prabang—18 MBS students and four chaperones finally arrived, exhausted but exhilarated, in Laos for the first leg of their service trip to Southeast Asia.
These intrepid travelers spent a week at the elephant conservation center in Luang Prabang, where experts explained that because of poachers, deforestation, illegal exporting, and overwork, these wonderful, dignified creatures are in need of urgent help. During their visit to the center, which currently protects 29 rescued elephants in 530 hectares, students fed the elephants, observed them at their vet visits, and delighted to see them bathe in the lake, using their trumpets as shower hoses. Perched high in an observation box, students even watched two elephants on a date.
The second leg of the trip saw students fly to Siem Reap in Cambodia and then sail out to a floating village on the shores of Lake Tonle Sap. More than 80,000 people live on this lake, in numerous floating communities comprised of bamboo houses built on empty barrels. Students worked hard for a local NGO, constructing bamboo houses for two families currently living on the lake in small, unsafe boats.
In the final days of this extraordinary and unforgettable two-week sojourn in Southeast Asia, students were thrilled to visit the astonishing temples at Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world (and also the place where the movie Tomb Raider was filmed). The sights and sounds of this astonishing site brought out the Indiana Jones in everyone.
The students who took part in the adventure included: Brigid Atkins, Sylvie Bastardo, Will Cassano, Will Gatward, Samantha Grant, Sam Kasmin, Lily Lindstrom, Matt Lohmann, Nicholas Lombardi, Evie Mitchell, Rachel Monastersky, Luka Okuzu, Samantha Rivera, Aaron Rosenberg, Brianna Stewart, Kailyn Williams, Andrew Wohlbruck, and Thomas Wohlbruck. The chaperones for the trip were: Andrea Deventer, Darren Lovelock, Eric Shea and Zoe Jameson Shea.