Monday, August 4, 2008

Cats, Dogs and Pachyderms. And Tiny Thais.

So, I am back in civilization after a week in the infamous Elephant Nature Park. Well, what can I say? I spent the greater part of last week play-fighting and bathing with elephants, including one particularly cute, curious and boisterous baby. As my Mom said: "What are you going to do for thrills for the rest of your life?!"

Me receiving an 'elephant kiss' from Hope, a complete rascal young teenage elephant. He invented elephant kisses at the park himself. It's like a suction cap on your face, hence my facial expression. Also, if you're wondering about the dozens of tourists standing around - those are mostly day-trippers who come in for a day and get to see the elephants and then leave. The park needs them for financial reasons. Luckily, in the evenings and mornings it's just the volunteers.

We also got to 'teach' (more like play really) at a local school. As you can see, we were a roaring success. Haha. She has a Dr Seuss sticker on her forehead, courtesy of UBS.

After morning chores and projects... (this was pretty much a daily scene).

Getting up in the morning, at 7am, after inevitably drinking the night before and doing manual work all day was a challenge... but on the way to the meeting spot I got to walk past this guy and let me tell you - everyone should buy a baby elephant as a morning motivator.

The day I nearly died. Just kidding, but seriously - we went up the Elephant Haven for a night (a hut in the jungle) and had to come back super early the next morning because it had been monsooning so hard they were scared the bridge was going to be swept away, and the nearest other bridge is five hours away.

I am thinking of going back next year before I leave Asia, for obvious reasons. So is pretty much everyone who went!

1 comment:

gigi said...

OH MY GOSH. I nearly cried when I saw your post. I actually don't think that there is anything cooler in the whole world than what you did. Children and elephants!! Oh my I'm actually on the verge of tears of the cuteness and being so happy for you. I'm probably going to look at this post over and over, marvelling. Sorry for being so dramatic but I just really really love those elephants ..and kid. Sigh!