March 22 – Save an Elephant, Ride an Elephant

World’s first twin male elephants in Surin

Where is the world’s only male twin elephants? Surin Province, Thailand.

Apparently, they have an elephant village there where instead of dogs for pet, each family has an elephant. No big deal. I went to Bo’s (my Thai peer tutor) home in Surin and stayed the night. When she called me the day before and asked if I was ready to go home with her, I was like, “uhh, sure..” So I quickly packed my bag for what I thought would be a night in a village and prepared my mind for bucket showers. Instead, we arrived to her ginormous house, which was nicer than mine!

We ate noodle soup for lunch and then took a huge hour nap. Pretty exciting. Bo’s mom owns an ice factory (as silly as it sounds, ice cubes are a necessity in Thailand considering the overwhelming heat and that every drink – thai milk teas – always need ice). She arrived late afternoon from work and we groggily awoke to greet her downstairs. It took me a second to remember that I was still in Thailand and this wasn’t just a slumbie at a friend’s house – cultural rules still apply. Bo greeted her mom bywai-ing her (palms together by your chin with a head bow). I also met Gon, Bo’s older brother, who I thought was autistic at first, was actually in a car accident when he was 16, was in a coma, and then had to have brain surgery. He kept forgetting my name and then would ask Bo what it was 20 times later, but his humor and sweetness made up for it.

Bo, her mom, and Gon

I’d already seen an elephant but was super excited when I got to ride one too! Bo and I rode it around the village feeling higher than the trees. Basically, we just bumped back and forth on the elephant’s back but it was still an adventure. I yelled “Farang!” every time I saw a white foreigner, just cause I was surprised to see some here. I guess they live in the village and carry out the elephant studies. What a cool job. Anyway, all in all a good day indeed!

We watched an elephant show with all sorts of tricks up their trunks

Talk about my collision of Senegal and Thailand together, they played the FIFA “Waka Waka Africa” song during this

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