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Published: November 16th 2010
Well I've made it finally to a computer one week into our holiday. Hiding from the sun at the moment as I'm suffering a bit with sun burnt shoulders.
We almost didn't get out of New Zealand as we found our passports were not valid...who knew you had to sign them. Border control couldn't believe how we had managed to travel on them last year. They wanted photo ID but we had left all but our passports at home. They took pity on us when Jack told them that he had raised $20,000 and was going to Thailand to save an elephant. They let us sign them and pass through...phew!!!!!!!
The flight seemed shorter than last time...we still didn't sleep well but Jack did after vomiting an hour into the flight...he blamed McDonald's for poisoning him which is a possibility :-)
Jack has been writing his journal for school and as I know most of you want to know about him, I am going to copy what he has written about our time at Boon Lott's Elephant Sanctuary in Sukhothai.
By Jack (age 9)
Pe Can picked us up from Tong's hotel to take us
to BLES. I couldn't wait to see the elephants. We went up a long dirt driveway with lots of holes and bumps. Finally we turned a corner and there it was, BLES and lots of elephants. Katherine came over to see us and I gave her a big hug and bunch of pink roses which are her favourite.
The first elephant we saw was Wassana who is one of the elephants we have helped to save. My mum's favourite elephant is Wassana and she bent her head down and put her face against my mum's. She has never done that for anybody else Katherine said. That made my mum really happy.
I met my two favourite elephants next. I had dates stuffed in my pockets and Mee Chok and Lom love dates and were chasing me to get in my pockets! Lom stole the whole bag and all the dates! It was fun.
Mee Chok is a baby and another elephant that we helped to save. He has been getting into mischief so I brought him a bell and the mahouts put it on him. Now we can hear him wherever he is. It sounds really nice.
We then went and watched Wassana and the other elephants playing in the pond. Wassana is the only elephant I've heard that sings when she is happy. She sings all the time when she is in the water. She always squeaks and she is really happy now.
BLES is in the jungle and we followed the elephants into the jungle. It was hard to find them in the trees. We sat in a secret look out to watch them but they found us and came over and nearly pushed over the lookout. I really liked seeing them be elephants and be free.
When we came back we met Anon. I really love Anon and he is really cool and funny. He is Tong Jai's mahout and Katherine's husband. He gave me a big hug and took me out to into the jungle to cut down banana trees for Tong Jai.
Tong Jai is a tusker and he is very, very strong and pulls big trees over and is dangerous because he is scared of people except Anon. I helped Anon to clean Tong Jai's 6 inch deep cut on his elbow. Tong Jai was very brave
because it would have hurt him a lot and he didn't move or make a noise.
I got up really early and to go into the jungle with Anon to cut down more trees for Tong Jai. Then we watched the elephants playing in the pond then I washed Pang Dow. Pang Dow is the third elephant we have helped save. I got Katherine wet with the hose.
Our walk this morning went over the hill by the stables. It was a hard walk. We almost lost the elephants because the jungle was so thick. Mee Chok and Lom came running after me for more dates which of course I had.
I got lots of cuts and scratches and I was bleeding but I don't care because I got to be with elephants.
We watched them play again in the pond then we had a really, really, really long walk with the elephants.
When got back they were playing in the pond again and Katherine's mum and dad helped me to make a bamboo cross for stars grave. Anon helped me dig a hole and we put it in and put flowers in the top.
After diner I got my straws and taught Anon how to do armpit farts. Anon didn't do very well and Hope tried too.
This morning we went to the village and bought paint and plants.
After our walk with the elephants mum helped me to paint a grave stone for Star and we all helped to plant around Star's grave. This was the second time Katherine had been to Star's grave and she said I helped her to feel better. I am pleased. Star's grave looks pretty now.
Today we followed Wassana, Tong Yui and Bong Bang on their walk. We saw the bamboo moving and heard lots of cracking but we could not see any elephants. Dow gave me his big mahout knife to keep and I used it to cut a path. We found the elephants and when they saw us they slid into a little stream just in front of us and turned it into a big mud pie. They had so much fun slipping and sliding and rolling around.
Wassana threw mud over her back and mum wore most of it. She looked disgusting. She didn't care though because it was
Wassana mud. We watched them for over an hour.
Katherine thought it would be a good idea to go back to the mud pie with paper and catch the mud to make pictures. There was mud everywhere and mum got the most mud on her and she looked disgusting again.
Today was our last day at BLES and we did the hard walk over the hill with the elephants and in the afternoon we went and saw Sumai in the jungle. Sumai was in a fire and his skin is thin so he likes the shade. He has to wear sun screen in summer. His ears are drippy because of the fire but he is a really nice elephant and loves people and attention.
I used my knife to help cut up his banana plant then I cut a whole tree trunk in half. It took me approximately 30 minutes and I was hot and sweating after.
I love BLES so much and I love Katherine, Anon, Mee Chok, Lom, Tong Jai and the pancakes and I didn't want to leave. Seeing happy elephants here is way better than watching dumb elephant shows or riding them.
I can't wait to go back and stay longer like 3 weeks at least.
Thank you Anon for giving me your scarf and Dow for giving me your knife. The scarf is in the hotel safe but I couldn't fit the knife in. Thank you Katherine for giving us Pang Dow's bell too.
I LOVE BLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well that is Jack's journal to date. No promises I'll keep copying them though...harder to copy and stay true to what he has written than writing my own words. He is refusing to write at the moment as he doesn't want to write about anything other than elephants....evidently nothing else is important enough.
We are in Chiang Mai at the moment...resting after all those jungle walks :-) Missing the elephants and everyone at BLES heaps. It was a hard trip here as Jack was crying on and off all the way. Shopping is helping to keep his mind of things though but everywhere he is seeing things he wants to buy for Anon. Anon made a huge impression on Jack...he wants to be just like him. That fact Anon's scarf is put in the safe when not worn
says a lot.
We met up with Lek this morning...can't wait to get out to ENP on Monday. We found out they have two rescued Sloth's and a baby Moon Bear so Jack can't wait to see them as well as Lily and all the other eles.
At the market yesterday we bought 4kg of dates, 1/2 kg of dried Kiwi fruit and 1kg of cherries .... half are to share with all the elephants, the other half Jack is saving for the elephant he is going to save.
June and Garry are arriving tomorrow morning which Jack is squealing about. We're excited too.
Having a wonderful time.
Maria if you're reading this would you mind buying us 6 raffle tickets for the BLES raffle...its over before we are back and I'll fix you up for it when we're home.
Lots of love to all.
Viv, Tracy and Jack.
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