Elephants

Tuesday November 28
I was sick last night and didn't know if I would be able to go out, so I am very glad I felt better today.  Michico took all of the volunteers out to an elephant camp.  Natasha had heard about a great one that is kind to the animals, so we went there.  It took forever as the directions were horrible.  We had to call the office four times to ask again.  They only have one sign at the driveway, none at he road because they don't want a lot of drop ins.  Once we found the Elephant Nature Park we all cheered.  It is really wonderful because all of the elephants are rescued from bad situations.  We saw some that were blind due to abuse, one had stepped on a land mine and most had gone through the breaking process which is basically being locked in a cage and tortured for a few days.  Although they have had suffering in their lives now they are free to roam and play. 
We were able to feed them, walk with them and wash them in the river.  Just being this close to these amazing creatures was wonderful, but interacting with them made it all the better.  In a way I see how the gimmicks are seen as new and fun, but I would much rather walk with and feed elephants than watch them paint pictures or play the harmonica.  The best part was watching the three baby elephants play in the river while we washed the adults.  They were having so much fun tumbling and pushing each other under water.  They really are just kids!  I would love to go back.
If you are ever looking for a place to donate money and you like elephants, check out this website http://www.elephantnaturepark.org/  they are doing good things and allowing these animals to have the positive free life they should never have been deprived of in the first place.  Even if you don't want to donate, you should still check it out, they are wonderful!

After the park we all went back to Chiang Mai where Michiko bought us all dinner at a Japanese restaurant.  I was glad to be at a Japanese Restaurant with a Japanese woman.  She ordered for me and I loved it all.  I never know what to try, but it was all good.