Hello Loyal Blog Readers,
This is John and Katelyn, the team leaders at the elephant sanctuary in Cambodia. After an awesome and productive week in the Kro Bei Riel community building a house (in one week!), we made the 2 hour trek north to the Elephant Sanctuary. The bus journey flew by as the volunteers were introduced to several mind blowing riddles (ie. Bang Bang and Black Magic). No one has figured them out yet but they have the rest of the week to ponder.
Upon arriving at the Ele sanctuary we were shown our living quarters for the next week… Bungalows! Made out of wood and bamboo, these open air structures allow us sleep to the sounds of wildlife and be immersed in the surrounding nature.
Being the first day of our new adventure, today’s theme was introductions. First we were introduced to the Thai and Cambodian staff who look after the elephants. Next came the 7 new born puppies (all the product of a brief but meaningful romance between JoJo and Jane, our resident canines)!!! The Monkeys followed. The sanctuary is home to a monkey rehabilitation center where monkeys that have been saved from poachers are staying while they are eased back into the jungle.
We of course saved the best for last. At approximately 3:30 two mammoth figures emerged from the jungle. They were our resident elephants! Arun Ria and Kamlin were both rescued from the illegal Cambodian logging industry. Now at the sanctuary they live a life close to how a wild elephant lives, although under the protection of a mahout, or trainer.
In the evening the Volly’s got their first glimpse at the history of abuse associated with working elephants in SE Asia through a National Geographic documentary.
Well thats it for now folks.Tomorrow our real work begins!
John and Katelyn