Guest blog writer Lillian here! We are having a wonderful time here at Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary and it has been a week full of precious memories and hard work. Today we began the day with a little hard work, one group went to do more cementing for the toilets for the rangers, smoothing the walls. It has been four days of work from us volunteers that the toilet block is almost totally finished. The only thing that needs doing is for the plumbers to do their work. The second group went to prepare for the fire break. We raked dried grass along forty meters off the side of the highway. We rake up to ten meters off the sides so that when drivers throw their cigarettes out of their car, if it were to catch fire it won’t lead to the already precious forest. We all got a few scrapes on our legs from the branches.
For lunch we requested to have again a pumpkin dish that has been the best meal ever and for our afternoon job we went into the forest to wrap blessed cloth around trees. The orange cloth had been blessed by Buddhist monks, so that it becomes a sacrilege to cut down a tree with the cloth, which causes them bad luck for the rest of their life. Afterwards we were able to watch the elephant Arun Reash just chilling in the forest with her mahouts. We were even allowed to take a photo with her and give her a small pat. When it was my turn she turned her head to look straight at me, it was quite a surreal moment where she just looked at me then turned away. After a while she had enough and began walking away, we all moved out of her way but then she stopped to show off a little. She threw sand on herself and reached out her trunk, I think to sniff us out, then she turned around again to walk deeper into the forest.
Later in the afternoon we prepared some pumpkin, banana and a lot of papaya to feed the elephants and to take some photos, like we didn’t already have enough from every day this week. After dinner we watched a short documentary then went to enjoy a bonfire for our last night in this beautiful wildlife sanctuary.
See you soon,