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Visiting an Elephant Sanctuary- by Najma Abdirahman aka “Maya”

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We went to an elephant sanctuary which was really cool. The elephants are treated well here, I mean humanely. They are not caged or beaten, they eat a lot and they are free to take baths in the river or eat most of the time. They can sit in the shade and be with their kids. They go to school to learn a couple of words like go, let’s go, sit, kiss, hug, open up high (they will put their trunk high enough so the you can put banana in the mouth, you get to see and touch their tongue) and a couple others. The baby elephants get to be with their mothers until five to six years of age. We fed the elephants bananas and coconuts, they chewed the whole coconut shells. We went on a hike with them, we gave them baths-they liked the sand baths because it scratches their itchy skin and cools they in the heat. We got some pictures with them and we got lots of water splashes and kisses and hugs.

 

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We rode on a raft for 40 minutes down a river, it was so peaceful and you could hear the sounds of nature-birds singing, insects chirping, and the most beautiful sound of the whole ride the water splashing every time we took a turn. It was like you are in a really great spa and just enjoying yourself and you don’t want it to end. The feeling of the bamboo raft against your skin when it goes through some rocks was priceless, cool water just brushing you. The raft guides where so familiar with the path that they knew every turn to take. They rode through the river so many times that it was like their path to work.

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We went to a camp for the night after the elephant sanctuary. We passed a Karen village on the way to the camp. The village was beautiful and kind of vintage because it had houses built out of bamboo like the old days before concrete. The camp was right next to a waterfall and the group swam there when we arrived. The rooms where built of bamboo too. They had mosquito nets- since it was close to a water sources it had lots of mosquitos. You could see the water moving in front of you room and the sound of waterfall moving was my lullaby that night.

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We played soccer in the little space we had and the ball went into in the water a few times. After dinner, we had a bonfire right in front of the camp. Everyone was communicating and two people played the guitar. You could feel the connection between everyone, the people that run the camp the Carpe Mundi students and some other guests, they were all enjoying themselves and being in the moment.

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