The morning started in the ele-kichen and we prepared the water-melons, washing and chopping and peeling. The supply of pineapples was low today, so the elephants got pumpkin and bananas in their lunch basket. The pumpkins are more like squash, not the big orange jack-o-lantern type that we see at home. The truck arrived full of bananas and we counted the number of bunches on each stalk as we unloaded, which is how the value is estimated. All stowed away and the amount verified with the driver, it was time to feed the elephants their lunch and then back to the kitchen to finish removing the seeds from the tamarinds. The tamarind is added to the banana ball mixture and the seeds are replanted.
We spent the hot afternoon outdoors, it has been in the low 40’s Celsius for the past few days. We headed out to the eastern part of the park to repair fencing around the banana plantation. Some of the posts needed to have deeper holes dug and re-set and the barbed wire tightened or reattached.
Luckily the local ice-cream man cycled by on the road just above us and we hailed him for a cooling snack before finishing work for the day. The thick clay soil we discovered about two feet down was wonderful for molding and brought out a bit of creativity in the group!
Afterwards I walked up to the village with Lewis and Julian and bought a soft drink – it was a syrupy coconut-flavored concoction, but quite refreshing. Then, as has become our afternoon routine, down to the river for a swim and time to play with the elephants in the water!
The full moon rose in the sky, glowing crimson through the inky blue canvas of darkness. It was a hot and still night and I went to bed earlier than usual to rest up for tomorrows work.