Day 53 – Banana balls and rock pillars

Chiang Mai, Thailand

So you would think with going to bed early last night I’d be good to go this morning…

Well, thing is I didn’t go straight to bed.  I actually watched Wolf of Wall Street and before I knew it, it was almost 11pm.

Now, in real life 11pm isn’t late at all (at least for me) but in Elephant Nature Park life – it’s late.

Everyone is usually in bed by 9:00 and at the latest 10:00.

After all, breakfast is at 7am and work starts just an hour later.

So, I sat in bed staring at my clock at 6:40am.  Did I want to get up?

I decided to get my ass out of bed mainly because I knew the hard tasks for our team were over.

Or so I thought…

Actually, the morning task was alright, it was the afternoon task that was killer.

In the morning we went to the food area of the nature park.  Ah, indoors and sitting down – now we’re talking!

We washed 10 baskets of pumpkin and 10 baskets of watermelon.  These were big baskets by the way.  Those elephants are hungry animals and they eat a ton!

The fruit is washed down to get rid of any chemicals or pesticides the farmers use on their crops.  Halfway through the washing our coordinator for the day asked for a couple of people to roll banana balls so I put my hand up for that.

I mean, washing fruit is boring but making banana balls?  Well, when the hell do you ever get a chance to make a banana ball?

And what the hell is a banana ball anyway?

Well, banana balls are exactly that – peeled bananas mushed up and rolled into balls.  These balls are special though because they’re mixed with medicine for some of the elephants and then rolled with cornmeal to bind it all together.

Ah, getting my hands deep into a bin of bananas and mushing it.  Now, this is my idea of a task!

I also spent some time cutting the rinds off a bunch of watermelons for the older elephants.

And before we knew it – we were done.

That was an easy morning.

After lunch though, the fun stopped.

Our afternoon task was rock pillars which doesn’t sound menacing at all but it entailed digging up a couple of holes about 2ft x 2ft and 4ft down.

The shovels they gave us were poor excuses for shovels as the blades were about half the size they should be so it took forever to dig these holes.

My half of the group dug the holes while the other painstakingly made pillars out of rocks and cement.

Once the holes were dug I took part in that task too.  That one wasn’t as bad as at least you could leisurely just sit there and plop rocks in formation.

Anyway, this afternoon truly felt like a labor camp.

This isn’t the kind of work I want to be doing.  I want to feed the animals, bathe them, walk with them.  Basically do stuff with the elephants.

Thankfully 4pm rolled around and it was quittin’ time.

I just kind of lounged around on my own in the afternoon waiting for the dinner bell.

At 6pm, the bell rang and like Pavlov’s dog we all scurried to the buffet table to collect our dinner from the wide array of vegetarian dishes available.

After dinner it was another game of is there internet where we all frustratingly try to get a wifi signal on our various laptops, netbooks and photos.

Later on I got a card game going with a few people but then some loud mouth joined the game.  The others laughed along with him but, for me, his voice is like someone scratching on a chalkboard.

After a few games of cards I called it a night and went back to my room.

The end to another day at the Elephant Nature Park.

More Elephants!

This is Day 4 of my week at the Elephant Nature Park.
Here are my entries for:  Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 5, and Day 6
Asia Trip 2014, Trip Journal
    1. Anonymous March 14, 2014
      • Todd March 15, 2014

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