Elephant kitchen this morning and we sorted about ten baskets of watermelon for washing then started to peel a basket load for the older elephants. We changed over to pineapples and the three of us sat peeling and chopping amid the wonderful tropical fruit smell …. The temptation not to take a bite of this deliciously fresh fruit was too much for some! We fed lunch to the first elephant visitors of the day which is always as exciting as the very first time - to be so close to these gentle giants and placing the fresh fruit, sugar cane and banana balls into the scoop at the end of their trunks is a delight.
During our free time today I went over to the dog sanctuary and had a visit with Steel and her two kennel mates. Steel was hit by a motorbike in Bangkok and was left laying by the side of the road paralyzed from the belly down and missing part of her right hind leg, she didn't receive any medical attention. The locals thought she would die, but this spirited girl survived by dragging herself around. Some time afterwards they put her in a cage and brought her food and water, but did not clean her cage and she stayed there for two years.
Steel was rescued and brought to ENP. She scoots around on her bottom, her kennel has a highly polished tile floor so she can move around easily and she can sure get around fast! There is also a set of wheels that she can be fitted with and taken out for a walk. I opted to lay on the cool tile floor for over half an hour with this adorable girl and it soon became a puppy pile with all four of us taking an afternoon nap in the shade.
After lunch we had a truck load of pumpkins to unload and our crew worked hard and fast to get the job finished. We teased Chet our volunteer coordinator that we had missed our opportunity to go tubing yesterday (without mentioning the huge benefit of swimming with Navann) and he took us to the drop point up-river for another fun float in the even shallower Mae Tang. It must be at one of its lowest points, rainy season will start in about a month’s time. The ‘white water rafters’ that pass us going hell for leather with their paddles have little in the way of rapids to add to the excitement and seem over-dressed in helmets and life-jackets, picking their way through our t-shirt and shorts clad 'tubers' leisurely following the current, beer in hand.