28 March 2013

Return to ENP, Monday 25th

I woke up early in the coolness of my air conditioned room. It felt good to have a deep, sound sleep and I got ready to walk over to the ENP office, just a few blocks away, to start my third week at the park. I got there just after 8:00am and the first bus of volunteers was just leaving. I paid my fee for the week and boarded the next bus filled with volunteers excited at what this next week would bring.

It felt good be 'home' and I knew that I had made the right decision, spending my last week here. As we left the main highway and twisted and turned our way up into the Mae Tang Valley the anticipation grew until finally the first glimpse of the flat pasture of the park filled with elephants and the river, a shallow ribbon meandering to the left.

I toured around with the new volunteers getting to know some of them before we had lunch. It is a more cosmopolitan group this week with volunteers from Canada, USA, UK, Australia, South Africa, Germany, Switzerland, India, Iceland, Holland and Singapore. As before the largest portion of volunteers seem to be younger women from England, traveling the world, many in their gap year.

This afternoon, I met Lek and she invited me to join her and Navann’s family group over in the meadow. There were six adult female elephants all protecting and fussing over him. It was a great photo opportunity and I had a chance to be close to him again.

The feeling of a baby elephant, who weighs between 500 – 600 lbs putting his front feet on your shoulders is quite an experience, you quickly realize the strength that these wonderful creatures have. I think Navann is almost getting too big to play with me this way, at just five months old, but he seemed to like the company of other males as fellow volunteers Julian and Lewis also received much of his interest.

We headed down to the river with the family for bath time and had some more play time there. Always wary of where his adoring aunties are, it seemed best to stand still and let Navann's curiosity lead him over to you, than try and attract him. The family group seemed less agitated this way, but they were never far away - always watchful.

This evening was the welcome ceremony which is always interesting to watch and this week I managed to take some better photos and video of it. It had been a long and exciting day and I did not stay up too late after dinner, retiring to my new room, which is right next door to the one I occupied for the previous two weeks. Ahn is still here to guard me.

1 comment:

  1. OMG.....

    you decide to go back to the farm wooow. I no you rely like the farm but that much I am very happy for you!!!
    :) Math