Saturday, September 12, 2009

the jungle component

What a week. I guess I'll start from the beginning.

We arrived at the elephant camp last Sunday just in time to see some election results. Nayok Satyien- a local government official (and kind of My Boss) was running for re-election. He has been in office many years and is (apparently, but also quite obviously) loved and trusted by nearly the entire province. BUT his opponent is a slimy devil and paid off two entire villages to vote for him.

So - long story short - the election results were close - but Nayok Satyien still won. :)

But his opponent is causing a big ole' fuss about it and there's some legal drama going on at the office.... so needless to say, I wasn't working for Nayok this week. Instead, I stayed on the elephant camp all day and night, riding, washing, playing with elephants, inbetween creating a new website for Ban Chang Thai (Thai Elephant Home).

OK SO - riding elephants - awesome. It's quite easy, but pretty rough on your body. Ban Chang doesn't use wooden seats or whatever on them - you just ride bareback. Pretty intense, and definately bum-bruising.

I was SO exhausted after my first night, so I was completely conked out by 9pm. When I awoke in the morning, I was in bed surrounded by a mosquito net - and looked out my bedroom window to see elephants wandering by mountains and jungle. I had no idea what was going on. It was amazing.


I've definately had to make some adjustments to the "jungle factors" of living here.
This includes:

- waking up to hungry elephants trumpeting every morning at 6am.
- constantly hearing the call of some animal, whether it be an elephant, cow, dog, rooster, bird, or just a motorbike
- a variety of critters in my bed/bathroom including but not limited to: spiders (big and small), cockroaches (I like to think theyre grasshoppers), ants, and small lizards.
- beetles the size of my face
- the fact that my legs look like i have chicken pox from the variety of mosquito/bug bites on them. honestly, multiple people have commented with looks of awe.

But honestly, it's been so great. A very limited number of mahouts speak English at the camp - so more often than not it's pretty boring and the nights can certainly be dull. But ever since I've arrived, I've been so grateful and happy to be here. I'm looking forward to many adventures ahead....

Next time I'll hopefully have some picture of my host "family" - Joe, (the manager of Ban Chang)- his wife, and their baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Baby Oishi is probably my favorite thing at the camp.... yes, more than the baby elephant. He's 9 months and unbelievably adorable. Unbelievable.

more soon. much love

1 comment:

  1. Sounds so wonderful, BouBou! Hope the bugs get better/wish I was there to help you cope with them. Though I'm sure you're doing just fine. :-) I miss you oodles! Sounds like everything is amazing. So surreal that you're there. Your blog is totally BA. The pictures are fabulous! 17 Pineapples today! XO!