We made it safely to the elephant sanctuary! So today we are going to do something a little different and allow one of the volunteers to write the blog! Here she is
Today we had a bit of a later start than the rest of the week. By 9:00am we left the hotel in Siem Reap and were on our way to the Elephant Sanctuary! Our bus driver had a heavy hand on the horn… the entire hour and a half ride there.
At around 10:30, we arrived at the sanctuary and were greeted by the staff. After a quick orientation and walk around the camp area, we had a delicious lunch of rice and various cooked fruits and vegetables.
Shortly after lunch, we pulled on Wellies and hopped in the goose pond and began cleaning out all the water… and everything else that the geese leave in there. We scrubbed ourselves clean and moved on to more exciting tasks. We cut up banana tree branches and watermelons with machetes (which are surprisingly fun to use) for the elephants!
We walked out to an open area with the two buckets full of fresh food. A few minutes later, two of the workers walked out with the elephants, Kamlin and Anrun Rhia. Anrun Rhia was very particular while eating and ate all the watermelon before even touching the banana trees. Kamlin, who is blind, takes much longer to eat and quickly found Anrun Rhia sneaking more watermelon from her basket. When they finished their snacks, they sauntered off back into the woods, probably to find more to eat.
Once the elephants were gone, we began playing volleyball and were joined by the sanctuary rangers, who are much better than us. We played for around an hour and a half and headed off to dinner for more delicious rice and veggies.
Sticky from bug spray and sweat, a few of us took showers. Not normal showers though, bucket showers. It’s exactly what you think it is. #whenincambodia
At around 7:00, we watched a short documentary about the abuse of elephants in the tourism and logging industries in Southeast Asia. These elephants experience severe abuse at a young age and are then forced to live in less than ideal conditions for the remainder of their lives. We discussed the importance of education for both the locals who interact with the elephants on a day to day basis and the tourists who travel to these countries allow for profit off these intelligent creatures.
Now it’s time for bed for an early start tomorrow,
thanks Hailey! That’s was awesome!!
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