We’re Coming Home!
All students have departed Thailand and are on their way home!
Rock Climbing Photos:
Patarah Elephant Farm
Today was day 2 of our 3 day adventure at the Patarah Elephant Farm, and it was just as exciting and interactive as day 1. We left the hotel around 8:00 and arrived at the farm at 9:00 to begin our first full day at the farm. Once we had gone through “orientation” again with a few groups of tourists, we split up into 4 groups of 2 and went our separate ways for the day. Since this happened to be the case, most of the stories I will tell will be encounters of my partner Callie and I and may be different from the way that the other groups did things. That being said, all of the tourists that Callie and I were with for the day were given their own elephants, while we were in charge of the babies. After a few hours of “play time” with our babies, we hiked up to the top of a mountain to set up lunch for our tourists to enjoy after their hour long elephant ride. Lunch consisted of many traditional Thai foods such as sticky rice, mango steen, assorted fruit, fried bananas, and many Thai desserts featuring coconut and banana that we set out on banana leaves to eat with our, albeit dirty, hands. When we barely put a dent in the copious amounts of food, we were able to feed all of the left overs to the elephants who enjoyed them thoroughly.
Once the animals and humans had full stomachs, it was time to hike to the waterfall to bathe the elephants. Our seemed to have consumed a dangerous amount of sugar at lunch because bath time turned into aggressive play time for Pairah, Pailin, and Pansa. When I say aggressive play time I mean Pailin managed to knock me over with his trunk and trample me on the ground (no worries, I suffer a minor bruise on my ankle) and Pairah acted as a mechanical bull for Callie and bucked her off into a belly flop on the water (again, no worries, she suffers a minor bruise on the leg). Our eventful bath time led us to the point in our day in which we were given a special exhibition to complete the FULL package deal that Patarah offers. *PG-13 sensitive material ahead* A few of us had the opportunity to witness two elephants mating, approximately 5 feet in front of us, in complete and full view of, well, everything. As I am still a bit traumatized from the unexpected visual, it is also very cool to be able to say that I’ve been lucky enough to see an endangered species creating new life, although they say it is a 50/50 chance that the female will get pregnant *End PG-13 sensitive material*. Continuing on, this brings us to the end of our day at the farm when we took a car to where a mother and her 5 week old calf live and were able to watch the baby try and drink from it’s mother (I say “try” because this calf is unusually small for it’s age and it’s mother is unusually tall, so the keepers have to stack pillows for it to reach it’s mother’s milk every time it needs to feed. It’s adorably clumsy efforts on the pillows didn’t yield successful results for many many tries.) It was amazing to see such a giant and powerful animal in such a small and gentle state.
Thank you for reading my post and I hope I have painted a picture at least half as beautiful as our day was!
Hello Moms and Dads,
Today we spent our first day at Patarah Elephant Farm! We got to feed and wash the elephants at the waterfall and even inspect their poop, which was Kirby’s favorite part. After that, we rode the elephants back to the farm. It was a trying experience because they liked to stop and eat the trees often! When we got back we had chicken strips, fried fish, french fries, spring rolls, and salad for dinner. Tomorrow we go back to Patarah again and will be spending the day with the baby elephants which are so so adorable!! We are all loving Thailand so far! See you soon!
-Callie and the Thailand Crew
All students have arrived in country and are ready for an amazing program! Stay tuned for blog posts and photos!