Well, its almost been a month, and it has seriously flown by. I’m wrapping up my time with the elephants this week, and I’ve gotten to do a lot of surprise activities. Perhaps a reward for being such a hard worker? I’ll go with that…
I got another chance to bottle feed the babes, instantly making us life-long friends. I helped clean out the closure for one of my favorite elephants; in addition to being blind, and having a bullet still lodged under his skin, Raja is the oldest elephant at the orphanage, and has exceeded the average age of Indian elephants (he’s estimated to be 80, most Indian elephants live to be 70 or so). One of my favorite things to do after the big herd marches back up to the orphanage from the Maha Oya River, is helping to bathe the smaller, sick herd. Tikiri always spoils me with trunk kisses. She loves it when you blow in her snout, and she blows right back! Dumari loves laying down for her bath, and enjoys a good scrubbing. I am definitely going to miss these ladies.
What surprised me, and I only realized recently, is that I have grown really attached to the little cliff-side town of Kegalle. I love taking my half-hour walk to the internet cafe, passing the usual people at the usual times. We always exchange smiles. I’ll be sad to leave here on Friday, when I move to Ja-Ela (about 45 minutes outside of Colombo).
Planning on doing the Adam’s Peak pilgrimage this weekend. I’ve been told we’ll have to start climbing around 9:00 PM to summit at sunrise. I can’t even imagine walking over night! I am excited and anxious for the challenge.
I have been having a blast with my fellow laborers with whom I muck out the elephant closures every morning. Although most of them haven’t had the luxury of higher education, and several of them are often a little bit cheeky, they are always quick to pass on some wisdom behind mucking-out, which I have found can actually apply to life! Here are a few lessons that I’ve learned…