Belper teenager’s unforgettable Myanmar adventure

Clare Borradaile, from Belper, with fellow students Lizzie Tudge and Charlotte Faleiro.
Clare Borradaile, from Belper, with fellow students Lizzie Tudge and Charlotte Faleiro.

Feeding and bathing elephants and helping the local community were just two of the highlights of a Belper student’s World Challenge trip to Myanmar.

Clare Borradaile was one of 24 Derby High School students and staff who spent four weeks in Myanmar (Burma), and were the first World Challenge team to visit the country.

During the trip the girls took part in a five-day trek, completed a community project and visited an elephant sanctuary.

Clare, 17, said interacting with the elephants was an unforgettable experience.

She said: “When we visited Kalaw, the highlight was definitely the trip to Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp, which looked after elephants that had been mistreated.

“Feeding them, bathing them and stroking their trunks was a truly unforgettable experience and the bond between the elephants and their carers was heart-warming to see.”

The community project involved teaching at an orphanage, cooking for the community, planting teak trees and painting buildings including the kitchen, dining room and library.

The students were in charge of their itinerary and had to manage their finances, book accommodation and travel.

Clare said: “I really enjoyed the trip and I couldn’t believe how friendly all the people out there were.

“Teaching at the orphanage was a great experience. We were teaching English to the children who were really eager to learn, we tried to teach them songs. We also cooked a meal for them which was lovely but we’d never had some of the food before like dragon fruit.

“We were responsible for all the planning and finance side of it so I think I’m a lot more independent now as I’d never really done anything like that before.”