Today has been the worst day so far at the park, purely because we were given the worst job of the week.
Everyday the volunteers and staff have to prepare a ridiculous amount of food for the elephants. This included rice balls, watermelon, bamboo, and corn. As well as prepare, they have to get the raw produce from the fields. That’s why today we were sent in a truck, which is usually used for store corn, to a field where we helped pick corn. The journey was over an hour and a half. That doesn’t sound too bad if you are in an aircorned mini bus but we were in and amongst the bugs and left over corn from the last time. I was not mentally prepared for it. The journey felt long and windy…and it didn’t help that the bugs in their crawling into our clothes. I felt like I was in ‘I’m a celebrity get me out of here’.
Under the beating sun we head into the corn fields to start cutting. The scenery was pretty beautiful but we were hard at work so we didn’t get chance to take it in for very long.
We hacked away for a couple of hours before heading over for some lunch. It felt like we had done loads of the field but really it was the staff who work their daily who had hacked away the majority of the corn. Looking back, we were probably more hiderance than help. We were asked to cut low and join 40-45 stalks together, but we were using our machetes half way down and throwing the corn into a rough area, not precisely on top of each other.
We missed elephant bathing again today because we were late returning. The more days I spend here I feel more strongly about providing the elephants with the most natural surroundings as possible. I don’t really feel comfortable washing the elephants because it’s not natural for them. However, our guide told us some of the elephants aren’t able to wash themselves due to injuries or blindness and he said the elephants enjoy the water being thrown on them on a hot day. After talking to him I felt more comfortable with the thought of doing it but I was still going to contemplate contributing when we finally get the chance.