Looks like this week is going to be jam packed with activities for us all to do. Today we began with repairing a dam to create a second bathing pond for the elephants. We mixed a large tub of cement and sand, carried a whole lot of stones down to the building site, and laid them into the dam together. Some of the stones were a little too large, so we had to break them by smashing them on one another. This proves to be as fun as it looks!
After completing the dam, we got to hop in the back of the tractor for a ride back to the bungalows.
After lunch, it was bathing time! We were given a bucket each to bring with us to the bathing pond. Once we arrived Aryua came gracefully out of the forest and stepped right into the pond, ready for her spa treatment. The volunteers began dumping buckets of water on her while she munched on bananas and sugar cane. Everyone got pretty soaking wet due to Stan, one of the mahouts, starting a bucket war between the people on either side of the elephant. Water was flying everywhere! It was super refreshing after the harsh heat we had all day. Once Aryua was all squeaky clean, we had a chance to get a couple photos with her. After this, she immediately began picking up dirt and throwing it on her back! Elephants do this to protect themselves from the sun, and to keep them cool. They never stay too clean after a bath!
Just before dinner, we all noticed the local forest rangers playing a game of volley at the courts. Everyone decided to join in on the fun. The volunteers aren’t quite as good as the Cambodians, but we’re getting there! Later in the evening we watched another movie on the elephant sanctuary, and the need for more volunteers to come out and help. Tomorrow, we cut sugar cane and plant some seeds. Should be fun as many of us have never even see a sugar cane field before!