The images are not all pleasant and the clanging of the chains against the ground are real.
I arrived in Surin Monday morning to the sight of four elephants in chains outside my door for the next week.
Some were swaying back and forth, and a mental overload.
My first thoughts were what the hell am I doing here! ??
I knew I was going to see a great deal, see pain inflicted on the elephants to listen, but I wasn’t ready to witness first hand.
Needing some time, I went for a walk within moments a group of tourists from the neighboring were behind me sitting in a chair on the back of an elephant.
Hot and tired being forced to work…
The project is here to show an alternative to such practices, sadly there are mahouts who do not want to follow the guidelines.
A particular elephant is not part of the project, he is very famous in Thailand yet spends every day in the same spot.
His front legs are chained and he is not even given the chance to walk in the enclosure built for him!
The reason his owner says is he does not want his tusks to chip or break.
Point blank the reason is money.
As I write this I see dear Thong Bai trapped in the prison of money, no care of his happiness and well being.
Tonight is my last night in Chiang Mai.
Today was the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos. I met the face to face people I have connected with over social media and our commitment to the elephants.
I had the pleasure of talking with Lek again.
The march was a success and I walked and held the Journey to Freedom banner with one of the mahout so from the project.
As I prepare to continue on to new places and elephants, my heart is heavy and grateful.
To be able to return to follow my dream and make some difference in the lives of elephants. When I looked into their eyes, I felt a connection and love.
I truly am a lucky woman, to have been in the presence of these majestic beings, I will carry their memory with me always.
Today we are both sitting in our offices at home. The wind is blowing and the sun is fighting for time against the clouds.
On September 22, the first day of Fall you and I will not be together to celebrate our anniversary. We will apart by miles and time, but never in each others hearts.
When the preparations began for this trip I didn’t want to go at this time, to miss out on the beginning of my favorite season and our celebration. Unfortunately the other alternative was January.
I can not thank the universe, fate or whatever it may be that brought us together eleven years ago.
The roads and paths we have been on together have had some bumps along the way, but we always face them together, hands clasped around each other.
My dear husband, you have supported me in every endeavor, from going back to school to going half way around the world without you. You have encouraged me to follow my dreams and I hope you know I wish the same for you always.
You have my eternal love and friendship, you are my best friend and love of my life.
On our wedding day four years ago, you said to me and our friends and family:
“Let’s start our chapter”
We have always had a bond, and my promise to you on our wedding day, rings true forever.
Heading to Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary which has been opened since May of this year.
At the moment,myself and four others are in the beginning of a four and a half hour drive.
I have been working on a itinerary for Myanmar. Spending time with Mo Mo is my primary mission, there are so many elephants who need help.
I also added a day visit to a lesser known place, will provide more details later.
It’s 8 :00 am and Chiang Mai, the rain has been coming down for hours and I woke up thinking I overslept.
Today is the first day of a little break…and I am antsy.
Yesterday, I returned from a over night stay at a sanctuary which left me with mixed emotions.
I saw the best intentions with horrible actions.
A friend of mine gave some cherished advice “look for what they don’t want you to see.”
What do you do though? Who am I to step in and tell a young boy whose life’s purpose is to make sure his elephant allows groups of tourists a day to fondle, take selfies and stand the perfect way for that perfect Facebook\Instagram image!?
A dear elephant knocked me onto my knees while myself and the group I was to stay with for the night walked around the sanctuary village.
With my scream of surprise the elephants were taken into the jungle, after the poor girl was repeatedly poked…
I didn’t talk to go this mahout, whio is probably only seventeen, doing what he has been taught to do to reinforce control.
Did that dear girl see me as a threat? Was she angry that I did not have food?
I apologize for not having pictures to go along with this post. Will be doing extensive ones with images and video when device is fixed or replacement one is purchased.