The corn was indeed as high as an elephant’s eye and we spent the best part of the day out in the cornfield, about a 40 minute drive from the park.
We had lunch in the field and after we had finished work we went down to the Mae Ping River (about a 500m walk) with the idea that we’d go for a swim. The bravest waded across to a sandbar, some of us ventured ankle deep, but my instinct said that this wasn’t a river to go swimming in. It was a bit murky and there were too many unidentifiable floating objects sailing by!
We returned to camp and after a quick clean up went to help unload the banana truck (which didn’t show up), so we unloaded and stowed the pumpkins and topped and tailed the pineapples ready for tomorrow. It had been another hot day and it was great to go tubing again after all our work had been done. The Mae Tang River seemed so much clearer and cleaner than our attempt to have a dip earlier and there was always the added advantage of relaxing with a can of Chang beer to round off the day.
We landed back at the Elephant Nature Park with just enough time to change before founder Lek Chailert gave a talk to all of the volunteers. Listening to her speak so passionately about her life and work was mesmerizing and she held a captive audience for almost two hours. It becomes very clear what Lek is trying to achieve and educating frieinds, family and coworkers who may visit Thailand in the future about making the right choices. Any elephant who performs tricks, be it painting, walking a bamboo tightrope or dancing has gone through a cruel and torturous 'training period of 4 to 14 days. Google the word 'Phajaan' or 'elephant crush' but be prepared for some horrifying and disturbing video.