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Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai
January 20th 2019
Published: January 29th 2019
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Jan 20th,

The best day of my life.

Ahhh! I wish everyone could experience what we got to experience today. Pictures and words don’t do it justice. We spent the day at an elephant camp, and it truly was a dream. Elephants are my favorite animal (even more-so after today), so being able to take pictures with them, cuddle them, and ride them through the river and forest was pretty much the best thing ever. On our way back to the camp this morning, we casually passed a man riding an elephant down the road. We were all freaking out, but little did we know, we were going to get much closer than that with the 50 elephants that live on the property. We started off with a show and got to see elephants play soccer, paint, and give a human a Thai massage. Then, we got to feed them and take a million pictures to remember the experience. Although riding the elephants was one of the coolest things I have ever done, it was hard to be 100%!i(MISSING)nto it because of the ethical issues I noticed. The elephants seemed to be treated fairly well, but it was hard to see some of them chained. I just don’t like the idea of any animal not being able to freely roam wherever it pleases. Additionally, it was hard to hear the noises the elephants would make when our rider would kick it behind the ear to get it to speed up or change direction. With this being said, though, many of the workers were so gently with the animals and seemed to take good care of them and feed them well.

We also got to take a box-cart ride pulled by two oxen. Funny enough, our group was just talking the night before about what is truly means to be unequally yoked, and today was a great depiction of why it is so important to have balance. Let me explain. A lot of Christians through around the phrase, “do not be unequally yoked.” Paul is implying that in relationships, Christians should be on a similar wavelength when it comes to desiring God and pursuing a like that is pleasing to Him. Naively, I always thought this phrase was referring to a literal egg that is split in half with the yolk split evenly in each half. WRONG. Haha. A “yoke” is actually an instrument used to bind animals together when plowing a field. It’s referring to the bar that lays across the animals necks, which makes sense why having two different sized animals or two different types of animals would cause an issue. They would not be very productive, and one would likely be pulling the weight of the other. Long story short, we got to see a yoke in action today. We noticed that oxen were paired together based on their size, yielding the best results.

As if the day wasn’t good enough, we ended our time at the elephant camp by bamboo rafting down the river. It was one of the most peaceful, beautiful things I have ever experienced. Just sitting there next to my new Thai friends and being surrounded by elephants and the most beautiful scenery was something I never imagined I would be doing. It was a great time to just take a moment to think about how great of an opportunity this trip has been.

The day ended with some shopping, dinner, and volleyball with some Thai students on campus.

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