EAST PROVIDENCE — Traveling to a different country is a new and scary experience for anyone… but have you ever written a documentary about it?
That’s exactly what Scout Lyons, a city resident and recent high school graduate, decided to accomplish for senior project while studying at The Met School in Providence. She traveled with local cinematographer, Ana Ramos and together they created an educational film, “Elephant Juice.”
“I combined my passion for animals and for filmmaking to create this documentary,” Miss Lyons explained.
The film, which was shown to the public Monday night, Aug. 7, during a screening at Weaver Library, displays the very real danger elephants are in daily.
Miss Lyons has intimate knowledge of being a bit worried about what the next day might present. Since being diagnosed with a brain tumor at an early age, Scout never thought that her trip to Thailand would actually become a reality.
“All my life I had pictured myself as a normal healthy kid, and seeing commercials for kids who are sick, and to suddenly realize I was that kid was really terrifying,” Miss Lyons said, adding her perspective on life changed drastically. “I lost my sense of fear. I realized just how precious life is,” she continued.
Resources are an extremely valuable asset when attempting to travel to a new place. When asked how she funded the trip, her response was a “Go Fund Me Page,” where anyone can anonymously donate money. In addition to the webpage, the Comedy Connection in East Providence allowed her to host a fundraiser, where three comedians performed and businesses donated raffle items. The show “Better Late than Never” further sparked her desire to travel to Thailand to save the elephants.
“People were so generous and donations just flooded in,” Miss Lyons said.
In Thailand, she experienced new culture and even ate a cricket, despite her being a vegetarian. The movie features Miss Lyons and her journey from the airport in Boston, to the layover in Dubai, and finally to Thailand. The trip consisted of ten days, where she was also able to pet a tiger, ride a camel and even receive a fish pedicure. According to Miss Lyons, they had amazing corn on the cob. She also discovered that elephant dung is used to make some of the world’s most expensive coffee, so maybe be a bit careful next time you order at Starbucks.
“Mainly the elephant sanctuary was why I chose Thailand,” Miss Lyons added. “At my school when they said they were doing a senior project I thought it would be perfect.”
Combining her passion for animals and for filmmaking Miss Lyons succeeded in her journey to educate the public on the danger that elephants face not only in Thailand, but throughout the world.