12 March 2013

Day two - the work begins, Tuesday 12th

I slept very well all night, waking once to the sound of an elephant trumpeting which started the 400 or so dogs barking, but I fell back to sleep right away. Daylight came quickly and after a quick shower and breakfast we were assigned our group tasks for the day. We had the job of collecting bamboo leaves for the elephants as our morning chore and the ten of us set off with our volunteer coordinator Aek. 

I wasn't sure quite what to expect when we were all given work gloves and machetes and walked from the park through the village to a field where a stack of bamboo lay already cut. As it turned out, it was more of a delicate process, picking the leaf tips off the stalks and collecting them in several large laundry baskets. It was not strenuous and we could stand in the shade chatting and getting to know each other better as we picked away - gloves and machetes not needed. Back at the park we helped unload a truck of pineapples - all hands on deck to stow the fruit on shelves in the kitchen.

Elephant lunch feeding time again and I had an opportunity to speak with ENP founder Lek and her husband Darrick. Our lunch was yet another feast and I opted for the salad bar today as it was already quite hot (reaching upper 30's Celsius). After lunch a video presentation: Giants of the Forest and then back to work. 

Our afternoon task was to collect rocks from the river and mix cement to build fence posts to keep the elephants from some of the big trees on the property. they like to use the trees as scratching posts and can damage or kill them.

This evening after dinner we have a Thai cultural night and I think by then I'll be exhausted and another sound sleep will come easily.

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