Tell us a bit about yourself and what you’re currently working on
My name is Indiana Carter-Powell. I’m 21 years old and from Aylesbury in the UK. I’m hard-working, resilient, creative, and I’m always up for an adventure. As part of my internship at GVI Chiang Mai, I’m leading a project that involves EcoBricks. EcoBricks are plastic bottles stuffed with non-biodegradable rubbish which can be used to make structures. My initial idea was to reinforce the base’s bin area to make it nicer to look at and easier for the bin collectors to collect the bins. I’ve hit a few difficulties, but I’m working with my mentor to find solutions.
What made you choose the program you chose?
I chose GVI Chiang Mai in Thailand because I wanted to travel to a part of the world that I’d never been to before. I eventually chose Chiang Mai as it offered both the conservation and community side of volunteering. This was (and still is!) super important to me as I love learning about and experiencing new cultures but also have a passion for wildlife and marine conservation.
What were you doing before joining GVI and what are you doing now?
Before my time as an intern with GVI, I had just finished my A Levels. Right now I have just finished my contract as a Field Assistant at GVI Chiang Mai and am working remotely as a Virtual Intern Supervisor with GVI in Thailand.
What have you studied or are you currently studying?
After A Levels I didn’t want to go to university and decided to travel instead. I’ve done online courses as I love to learn – I got my TEFL qualification in 2020.
What did a typical day look like as a participant at GVI Chiang Mai?
A typical day started with breakfast and a coffee at Roots coffee shop before an early morning elephant hike where we collected data on the elephants and followed them around the forest before heading back to base for lunch. The afternoons consisted of a range of activities like learning the local language (Pakinyaw), gardening, teaching English at the school and helping out in villagers’ fields. Dinner was always at our homestay – unless we had a cooking class or mahout dinner – followed by evening English lessons and/or free time.
What did you do in your free time?
In my free time on base, I hung out with other volunteers, taught my homestay family English, and explored and experienced Chiang Mai. I actually had my 19th birthday in Thailand and loved spending it exploring the local foods and markets in the city.
How can we follow you on social media?