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Big Island Students Travel to India

Parker students witnessed new cultures and participated in an unforgettable volunteer experience on an 11-day trip to India as part of the school’s Travel Club.

Ten Parker upper school students visited India on a recent 11-day trip as part of the school’s Travel Club.

Ten upper school students, along with two teachers and a Parker parent, traveled to India in March where they visited the Gandhi Museum and a Sikh Temple in New Delhi, participated in the Holi Festival (color festival) in Jaipur, and volunteered to help rescued sloth bears and elephants at Wildlife SOS in Agra.

“Wildlife SOS is a non-profit in India that rescues sloth bears and Asian elephants in addition to working with local communities to create employment opportunities that do not endanger animals,” says Melissa Lunchick, Parker middle school Spanish teacher and Travel Club advisor. At the Wildlife SOS headquarters, students learned how development threatens animals and habitats in India. They also had the chance to monitor animal behavior for research, bathe elephants, prepare food for the animals, as well as build enrichment structures for the sloth bears’ enclosures.

“Along with this profound volunteer experience, our journey through several urban and rural parts of India allowed students to witness different walks of life in the developing world,” says Jessie Marshall, also a Parker teacher and co-advisor of the Travel Club.  “Experiencing Indian food, culture, and lifestyle gave us a valuable perspective about the things we take for granted.”

This is the second trip made by the school’s newly reformed Travel Club, with eight students traveling to Peru last summer for the club’s first travels abroad.

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