We were back to work today again which meant up early! Our first night out here proved to be very different to Siem Reap – no power after 10, and much colder conditions. Some of us were even wearing jumpers! Our first job for the day was collecting sugar cane for the elephants. It was a short ride to the plantation before we got stuck into chopping down and skinning the sugar cane with machetes. After loading them up and taking them back to the sanctuary we chopped them up in preparation for the elephants. A quick hammock break in our cosy bungalows was followed by another delicious lunch.
After lunch we swapped our long pants for our shorts and grabbed our buckets and sponges and headed out to bathe the elephant, Aronria. She was so calm while we were bathing her. We fed her sugar cane as we all scrubbed and got soaking wet ourselves. It was a truly amazing experience that many people can’t say they have had! We came back to cut up some more sugarcane and fruit for the elephants, and all had a quick shower (much easier to have showers from a bucket earlier in the day in the daylight!). We fed the elephants their lunch (they eat 100kg of food a day and spend 18 hours a day eating!!) and then had a relaxing afternoon, which finished with another game of volleyball. The locals here are very good and are always tough competition!
Dinner was again followed by a documentary, this time about the actually here and some Reach Out Volunteers who were here last year. We’re all hanging out in the common area playing cards now and will probably get an early night!
We all absolutely love it here, and the elephants are beautiful! Everyone is well and we’ve all certainly developed close bonds with each other. Hello to everyone at home! We do miss you but we love it here!