Day 54 – Labor camp

Chiang Mai, Thailand

I was not a happy camper today.

Just a heads up – I basically spend this blog bitchin’ about stuff so if you just want to see photos of elephants, click on the photo tab instead

Everyone had the same task today – clearing paths for a fire break.  Basically making a path where if there is a forest fire it will stop at the path instead of moving forward.

To do that though we had to clear all the grass and leaves from the pathway with rakes, hoes and brushes.

And the place we were doing it was an hour ride away.

So, in 4 days here I have now driven an hour away from camp three times.

Not impressed.

I know I said the other day felt like a labor camp but, seriously, today was it.  After the ride up a bumpy dirt road where we were all bouncing around in the back we then had to hike 15 minutes up hill to get to where the path was.

And then we all set out side by side with our various tools looking like some chain gang straight outta prison.

We were told we would be doing this for a couple hours in the morning and then some more after lunch.

Ummmm….

I should have just bailed like almost half of the people did.  We are a group of 40 people and only 24 showed up for the task.

Instead I went and was miserable the whole time.

After hiking up the hill I lasted about 10 minutes before I finally put my hoe down and walked back to where the trucks were parked.

I actually stopped and sat in the shade under some trees for a half hour just thinking about things:  my life, this trip right now and in the coming months.

It was good to have some time to just think about things.

I mean this whole week was a volunteer week and I was paying for the experience – handsomely I might add.  This isn’t at all what I had envisioned.  I haven’t really connected with anyone and I actually have made more of a connection with people I’ve met one night in a hostel.

And the tasks are some serious work.  I just wanted to do some fluff jobs – you know, chopping fruit, feeding animals, walking them, bathing them – easy stuff.

Anyway, after being under the tree for awhile I walked back down to where we had been dropped off only to find the rest of the group coming as well.

Seems the morning work was only an hour long and they nixed the afternoon work for us as another group of Hong Kong students were coming by to take over for us.

Good news but it didn’t really matter because I wasn’t going back up the hill anyway.

I ate lunch but could feel some eyes on me as I was the quitter but whatever – this is my trip, my vacation and I want to be doing what I want to be doing.

I sat by myself after lunch as the others sat outside waiting to go to the nearby waterfall.

I bailed on that too because at this point I didn’t really want to hang out with anyone and just wanted to get back to the park.

After they did their waterfall thing we all went back to the park and arrived just before 2pm.

Four hours til dinner and then nothing for the rest of the night.

Sigh.

I actually looked to see if there was room available at my hostel for tonight and/or tomorrow night but there isn’t so I guess I’ll just tough it out and spend another 2 days here and leave with everyone else on Sunday afternoon.

Dinner came and went and then I just went straight to my room stopping to play with some cats along the way.

Yup, in my room by 7:00.

I watched some stuff on my netbook and then turned in at 10pm.

I’ve basically tuned out for this week which is such a shame because I really did have high hopes and expectations for this week.

Oh well, tomorrow is another day and I know all this complaining can just be filed under #firstworldproblems as being stuck in an elephant park is still pretty awesome no matter how you look at it…

More Elephants!

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