We finished up at the sanctuary yesterday. Oh how we have achieved so much. Everything the volunteers have achieved have been crucial steps in the evolution of this community into something sustainable.
They had a great time doing it, they said a final farewell to the Elephants yesterday.
Bye bye Arun Rai and Kumlin
Stan and Mix carrying Amy in the Elephant food basket.
We travelled back to Siem Reap in the afternoon and people got in some final shopping and haggling in the local markets.
I then treated them to a nice final Khmer dinner. It was one of those moments where no one wanted to leave because they had become so close. These twenty two amazing people that were strangers only a few weeks ago now shared something unique and special amongst themselves and were cramming as much time together as they could before they went their separate ways.
Emily having a snack (A tarantula).
The farewell day is always the hardest. It is one of the few things I have never liked about being on these projects. To see the volunteers, each so amazing in their own way, people that I have become extremely close with in the last few weeks only to say goodbye within such a short time frame. It sucks.
Yet we must put their achievements into prospecting. This is what they managed to achieve in one short week –
Enclosure repairs, cleaning and feeding of the animals (besides the elephants) at the sanctuary.
Hands on experience with the Elephants to discover both how truly amazing these creatures are by feeding, washing and taking care of Kumlin and Arun Rai. Then discovering the troubles they had faced earlier in their life.
Building of a dam so the Elephants can bathe even in the dry season.
Planting crops for the Elephants and Volunteers, like pumpkin, cashews and sugar canes.
Teaching English at the local school, to further their education so that eventually our assistance will no longer be required in the community.
Preserving the forest by tying pieces of cloth around the trees so that the loggers will not cut them down (If they do, they are inflicted with several lifetimes of bad karma).
Planting some larger trees and rejuvenating some of the forest so that more Elephants will be able to safety call this place home.
So I want to say a big thank you to all of you reading this blog. You have had the pleasure of knowing, raising and being a part of the lives of these truly amazing individuals.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog as much as I have enjoyed writing it.
If you would like to help to continue to support these projects, I implore you to check out this link it directs you to our charity page. 100% of all donations go into the charity to support projects like the Elephant refuge to continue running and flourish in our absence to build these communities up.
If you are a volunteer reading this blog in the near or far future, just remember you were a truly awesome group and it was amazing to get to know you all. I wish you all the best in the future and thank you for your efforts here. You guys friggen rock!