June 24: Christi Volunteers at an Elephant Sanctuary
Christi spent the first two weeks of June volunteering at The Elephant's World in Thailand, about 3 hours west of Bangkok. This is a sanctuary for old, injured and abused elephants where they can spend the rest of their days without having to work.
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The main role of a volunteer is to guide tourists and entertain visitors.
Christi with an elephant.
"Hmm, can I take this one with me?"
The elephants are lining up for their morning breakfast - lots of fruit. Ele's sure eat a lot! Christi feels right at home.
The Kwai Yai River at Elephant's World where the ele's go for a drink and a bath.
xSongkran is ambling over for a drink. She is 72 and so skinny from being over-worked her whole life. Her ears are torn from her days logging.
A mouth-full of bana-grass. Always eating. Now we know why Christi really came here...
Just another day.
Every day we make balls of sticky rice for the "old ladies" - Songkran (72) and Bua-kam (71). They have no teeth and are limited in what they are able to eat.
Preparing the fire to make the rice. Fancy kitchen, hey?
What are you lookin' at?
Every elephant has a minder known as a "mahout." Keep in mind, these animals are not from the same herd and they've all had long hard lives of being mistreated. They don't always get along. Also, while they are usually kind, they are still elephants and can be very dangerous when they get upset.
Christi and Loes (the other volunteer (from Holland)) preparing sticky rice for the ladies. The brown powder is a fiber made from rice. It's also a way to put in extra vitamins or medicines.
(FYI - an elephant goes through 6 sets of teeth in a lifetime. The last set falls out around age 60. In the wild, if nothing else got them first, they would eventually die of malnutrition. Elephants can be as old as people.)
Loes and Kid, another mahout, waiting for a tractor to move a pile of sugarcane.
It was a hard day at work for Yot. Rope swing anyone?
Elephant's World receives many donations, especially from Thais. This is a Thai superstar who raised money at her concerts and donated all that sticky rice for the old elephants.
The staff at EW was pretty darn excited, so she signed a few CDs and had some photos taken.
The youngest elephant is John who is just 4 years old. So playful! Think Dumbo in the scene where he's taking a bath with the help of Timothy Q Mouse.
"Okay, guys, enough of this. Let's go eat!"
(Notice the giant elephant poops behind her?)
No, Christi, not for you!
Loes and Kid on a very happy Songboom going down to the river for a bath.
"Yot-teacher." He is trying to have a big eye just like Christi. Silly.
There is even a small market nearby where you can get delicious wiggly-worm drinks! "A-loy mahk-mahk!"
January (South Korea)
2: Grocery Shopping
23: Eating Live Octopus
February (South Korea)
28: Collage of Kimchi Cat
March (Christi in Thailand)
9: Christi in Thailand (Koh Tao)
13: More of Koh Tao
25: Snacks in Thailand
27: Lots of Rain, Lots of Rain
31: Rescue Off of Koh Tao
April (Christi in Cambodia)
3: Siem Reap
4: Day 1 Angkor Wat
5: Day 2 Angkor Wat
6: Day 3 Angkor Wat
13: Phnom Penh & Killing Fields
14: More of Phnom Penh
16: Still in Phnom Penh
19: Last Day in Phnom Penh
30: South Coast of Cambodia
May (Christi in Thailand)
17: Chillin' in Trat, Thailand
29: A Thai Island
June (Christi in Thailand)
24: Elephant Sanctuary
25: Erawan Waterfalls
26: Elephant Feeding Time
27: More Elephants
28: Memorial in Kanchanaburi
July (Christi in Burma)
27: An Incredible Month in Myanmar
August (Christi in Cambodia & Vietnam)
22: Back Through Cambodia
24: Good Morning, Vietnam!
27: Call Me Miss Saigon
31: Hoi An - History, Beaches and FOOD!
September (Christi in Vietnam, Tauru in Winslow)
7: Labor Day at Winslow Wall
21: Christi Comes Home
October (Tempe, Arizona)
16: Vietnam, The Rest
November (Tempe, Arizona)
14: Good Times with Friends
See our Two Blind to Ride website