“Susuday” from the Elephant Sanctuary! Writing to you tonight are volunteers Lacy, Tasha & Dylan. Sadly today was our last full day here and we think it’s pretty obvious that we’ll all miss this amazing place!
This morning we split in our two groups and went to work! One group potted mango seedlings in the nursery to help replenish the forest’s loss. The other group took the truck out to crop sugar cane (we got to use machetes, watch out guys!) and gather rice shells to use as compost back at the sanctuary. It was truly a great way to spend our last day here! After our work, we got to relax for a little bit in the hammocks and then have a delicious lunch.
Later in the afternoon, we got to wash Arun Ria as a group! This is probably all around one of the favourite activities of the volunteers. Not many people can say they’ve bathed an Asian elephant and then had a water fight with 20+ of their new closest friends! It’s also a great way to beat this Cambodian heat!
After our elephant bath, we went to tie scarfs around the trees in the forest. In Buddhist culture, it is considered unlucky to cut down a tree that has a monk-blessed scarf tied around it. It was truly a remarkable experience to know that this simple task would aid in preventing the destruction of this expansive forest.
Of course we got to feed and interact with Kumlin, hands down the best part of the day! It’s such a surreal feeling to be able to feed and love on these incredible creatures. There’s sure to be a few tears tomorrow when we have to kiss our gentle giant goodbye.
Like every night, the volunteers played their daily volleyball game- the Power Rangers (Stew’s team) versus the Thundercats (Dylan & Keturah’s team). It’s become quite the rivalry! Power Rangers are up currently leading the series. After an exhilarating last game, we had our last dinner here at the Sanctuary and we were all treated to a special appearance by the one and the only, The ‘Phants (Volunteers Keturah, Shari, Ashley, Tim, Andy, Riley & Cody). They performed an original song that was composed right here in Cambodia! We also watched the last documentary of this trip, about the transition into the wild for the Sanctuary’s two rescued elephants, Arun Ria and Kumlin.
It’s been an incredible week here and it’s been so amazing to meet the people who are dedicating their lives to helping the Cambodian wildlife. This place will truly be missed!
It’s been a ‘PHANTASTIC week!!!
“Chon Reap Lea!” (Goodbye!)
Lacy “I survived a week without AC” Nelson, Tasha “Can’t wait to see the fam back home” Neuhauser & Dylan “It’s bloody hot in Cambodia” Mills