Today the twenty two of us made our way out to the elephant refuge. It was here we were introduced to our amazing accommodation and the even more brilliant food they put on offer as soon as we got here.
Today was mostly about finding our feet. We were given an orientation about the sanctuary and learned that this place is not just a refuge for the gentle giants but for so many more animals. There are dogs, monkeys Gibbons and Geese that make their home here until they are well enough to return to the wild (Although I think the dogs might stay).
However at 3:00 pm we were introduced to the the elephants themselves after cutting up sugar canes and watermelon for their afternoon snack. The Volunteers were awe struck as the elephants themselves appeared. The Elephants made their slow and graceful walk towards the baskets of food. It is something that is not easy to put into words and no matter how many times I see them, they never fail to move me.
We spent the afternoon playing volleyball with some of the locals that are employed to protect the forests that are the home to the elephants.
However after dinner it was time to settle down and learn why the elephant’s need a sanctuary. We are here to provide a safe haven for the Elephants from the harsh treatment they receive in the illegal logging industry. The movie we watched was a little eye opening and there were a few tears shed as they learnt what our two elephants had been through.
After that though the volunteers retreated to their accommodation for the evening, ready more than ever to help the Elephants any way they can in the morning.
Volunteers – Jordan, Sara, Jess and Amanda.
PS – If you were following the village immersion I managed to upload the two photos from the waterfall this evening. They are quite breath taking if you get the chance.