A few of the volunteers got up this morning to view the sunrise. It was an early start at 5:20 am, only to wait another half an hour to actually spot the sun. The rest of them waited inside their princess mosquito nets, having a sleep in until the golden sun shine broke through their windows to wake them up for the next day at the elephant sanctuary.
Today the groups switched jobs from yesterday. Our group went out to the elephant dam today to finish the work the other group started yesterday. We built a concrete dam so the elephants have a place to have their daily bath even in the dry season. It was back breaking work to create the concrete sandbags that were backed up by piles of dirt. The volunteers all got stuck into the work and were able to finish the last few pieces on the dam so that we are now able to move onto other projects, so it was great work by all the volunteers.
In the afternoon we were able to jump in the water and help bathe the elephants. Kumlin is an elephant from a very rough upbringing so she appreciates when we help her with her daily bath, with the assistance of the Mahoots (their handlers). Only to have the Elephants throw dirt on themselves as soon as they leave the water, to protect themselves form the vicious Cambodian sun.
This sort of task while not physically demanding is something essential to the volunteer projects. It is a moment in which the volunteers are able to get up close and personal with the gentle giants. To see how truly beautiful these creatures are up close and why we are striving so hard to protect them.
The interesting wagon ride out to the bathing area.
The finished damn – Volunteers – Jade, Claudia, Riley, Jordan, Charlotte, Carlee, Amy, Christin, Derek & Jenni (Two refuge volunteers), Leora and Kayla.
After the bath, the Elephant throwing dirt on itself to protect from the sun.
Special thanks to Christian and the two Charlotte’s as they helped write the blog last night/this morning.
P.S. There’ll be a group photo of the volunteers washing the elephants tomorrow!