Hey!! My name is Tay and I’m coming at you live from the elephant sanctuary. It’s our second day! Our first night here was fairly interesting. My roommates and I braved the night in our hut surrounded by creatures of the night, but that’s a small price to pay when you’re surrounded by nature and all the beauty it has to offer.
Today we split up into two groups. One went on a jungle walk with the elephants and visited the plant nursery. They planted trees to help grow the jungle habitat. Our group assisted in the building of a ranger hut. We cleared out the land and dug the holes for the stilts since the area floods when it rains. We need these ranger huts so that we can keep guard for poachers that might attempt to hunt our animals.
Later, we collected the sugar cane from a plantation nearby. We had a whole line of work going (the elephants eat so much!). We returned to the sanctuary to cut it and then we fed Arun Reah, Di-Poh and Sarai Mia. Once again, Kham Lin had her special meal that was prepared for her. Being around them is absolutely incredible. As Sophia would say, “nature is magical”. Something that was particularly exciting was that Di-Poh had her rope off! She has been getting adjusted to not being chained up all the time. Her previous owner would punish her when she managed to get out of her chain. So when she first arrived, she would run off when her chain was removed because she was terrified of what would happen to her. It was awesome to see her progress and it was a great reminder of why we’re here.
Later on, there was a welcoming ceremony where we were blessed by a monk. I’m so grateful that we are able to experience every aspect of the Cambodian culture. We’ve learnt so much and all of the locals have been so friendly and kind.
Afterwards we watched a couple of documentaries about how the Cambodian Wildlife Sanctuary was founded and how Kham Lin and Arun Ria were rescued. It’s crazy to see how much a difference we can make. This place is all about sustainability and putting life back into a forest that has gone silent. All the food (which is AMAZING by the way) is all grown here. Walking on the grounds and listening to the forest, I feel so much more in tune with the earth. It’s refreshing. It just goes to show that humans can live in harmony with nature.
One last thing! We’ve had tonnes of down time here and being completely disconnected from the rest of the world, we have really been able to spend quality time together. We’ve all bonded a lot and I can already tell that I’ll be bawling all the way back home when it’s time to go.
All in all, it was another fantastic day with this beautiful bunch of girls.