May Love and Time heal you

The other day a vision caught my eye that made me shutter to the core of my soul.

I saw into the eyes of a young innocent, taken from his mother and beaten, starved into submission.

The ritual called Phajaan, or The Crush. This is when where baby elephants are taken from their mothers.  They are forced into small wooden boxes, starved, stabbed, beaten, tied by all four feet, neck, trunk and body while a man sits on top.  This man tortures the baby day and night. The baby’s screams can be heard over great distances and will chill you to the bone.

This is to teach the baby who to listen to, who is boss and who to fear.

Zuki and his family were recently rescued by Lek and the Elephant Nature Park.

His eyes are empty, his spirit has been broken, taken away by the atrocity of mankind.

I try to hold much respect for all cultures and to not pass judgement on tradition, but this angers me to degrees in which there are no words.

In a place in which there is so much beauty and wonder, holds darkness in malice towards the beautiful elephants.

I share these images provided by Lek, in which the news of this baby was seen all over the elephant network.

Haunting and heartbreaking, I wonder what his dear mother felt when reunited with her dear baby.  Could she sense the horror and nightmare her precious child endured at the hands of man?

Perhaps she remembered her own…

I try to wrap my brain even comprehend what these people must be thinking.

To rip a soul away…

With time, love there is great hope that the light will shine in darling Zuki again.

My heart is with him and all these babies, some do not survive this.

 

 

 

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A month from today

On August 23, I will be leaving for a seven week journey to Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar.

While I am there I will be volunteering and researching at six different locations, all committed to the elephants and the hill tribe people.

There will be long treks to endure, nights spent sleeping on mats, the heat, and of course meeting and engaging with the beautiful people and elephants I love already.

As the realization of the short time till I leave has set in, I have been a whirlwind of emotions.  Excited, nervous, scared, happy and worried.

Two years ago my husband and I spent our anniversary in Thailand, our time there was a wish and dream come true, I did not know then that not only would I be returning so soon, but also alone.

Our anniversary is on September 22 and this year we will be half a world apart, I in Thailand and he at a festival. Hopefully we will be able to send each other love and wishes that day if not soon after.

My heart is heavy with the thought of being apart for so long, his never-ending support, strength and love have guided me during this process and will continue to do so while we are near or far.

This trip began with a week stay at  Journey to Freedom with the Save Elephant Foundation, it was he who said “why stop there, go to as many places as possible and do as much as you can do while you are there.”

My best friend, biggest support and love of my life.  I vow to make you proud of me.

Where have all the sunflowers gone? 

Each year I plant an array of sunflowers, even a wall of beautiful varieties and sizes.

This year, the seeds I planted did not sprout, I believe the birds that live among the trees enjoyed a luscious feast.

Perhaps I didn’t dig deep enough,  or the distractions of one good hand and a trip to the other side of the world took over my thoughts. 

Regardless the precious rays of sunshine will not beam this year. Feeling reminiscent I looked through the photos of last year. 

Sunflowers as you may see are my favorite flowers.  They hold so much meaning and substance, beauty and strength.

I remember seeing sunflowers in Thailand though not the fields I had heard of so feeling curious I did a search. 

I was horrified to see these images,  never in my dreams would I wish this, people riding on the backs of these dear elephant in these magnificent fields!

This is not a picturesque moment,  this is torture! 

Why I walked a 5k

fb_img_1468760494917.jpgAt  last minute I decided to run a 5k.

Which is a surprise because I do NOT run.

The idea though of running in the park on a beautiful sunny day intrigued me. Plus why not try a new method of building endurance.

Well, about two minutes in, I came to my senses.

I know many people love to run, I am not one of them.

As I walked the trails, keeping watch of the orange flags marking the correct path to run, I was in awe of the trees hoping to see gnome houses.

The walk was just what I needed, a new place and at the end I felt energized and walked some more.

The runners were so focused on the task, they missed the beauty and the stories of nature being told.

I give runners a great deal of credit, the trail had many places where an inexperienced person could hurt them self.  The runners glided down the paths like deer.

 

What hat will I wear today?

Anthropologist hopeful, researcher and writer. 

Looking for work, trained and many skills. Willing and ready to learn new ones. 

I grew up with my Pap and Dad always having side projects, some were for money while others for fun.

They had skills and knowledge in many areas and I admire that. Everyone in the neighborhood knew about them.

My Pap had certain hats he would wear, depending on what project he was working on.

I do not wear hats, instead I have the shirts and shoes, pants and gloves for many occupations.

Yesterday, I was a weeder, Friday an office cleaner today a barista. 

I believe the jobs even if only for a day help prepare me for field.

As I clipped and pulled away at weeds in the 87 degree sun I thought about each experience.

Skills and strength I have gained while staining and ripping uniform of the moment. 

I write this while attempting to take a rest.

Images of elephants playing with grass make me smile as I close my eyes for just a second.

Lessons in the water

Purchasing passes to the city pools was a great investment. 

Everyday after work my husband and I venture to the pool for at least an hour of practice.

Getting used to and comfortable with the water are important for fun and safety.

One of my most memorable moments at Elephant Nature Park was watching the elephants splash and play with each other. 

You can see calmness in their eyes and playfulness is all around them. 

Taken before life could begin

“Mi Chaw’s mother is a jungle elephant.
She gives birth little Mi Chaw somewhere near Ngaputaw region.
The villagers didn’t know what happened exactly and when they see and hear the mother elephant who is crying out, they afraid and drove her away.
It was terrible.
The baby girl couldn’t walk.
She can not follow her mom and the mom ran away as she was afraid of the people.
Then because of the heavy rain, the poor fell down into the river but finally saved by the villagers but send to Timer Enterprise.
Now we are looking for a nursing mom but during this time, we need to help.
It is very expensive to buy the milk powder for her.
Dr Myo Min Aung needs your help to buy milk for Mi Chaw.”

This post was the first we heard about Mi Chaw, the helpless victim of the confusion of human interaction with elephants.

This poor girl, orphaned at birth, passed away within days of this…

I felt a deep connection to her, and when I heard of her passing I cried and was angry for her death that could have been prevented in so many ways.

Everyday, myself and fellow elephant advocates read about these beautiful giants being beaten, tortured, neglected and abused, and why??

So that they perform tricks, give rides and become nothing more than lifeless shells, subdued and broken spirits.

Each death is another broken piece of our hearts, never easy to understand, but when one is a baby, just days old…each moment of her life was a ticking time clock, rapidly finding a foster mother to accept her and ensure survival.

My heart is with you dear Mi Chaw, your short life and passing will not be in vain.  We will continue to ensure peace and love to your brothers and sisters.