Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Journey to Freedom 6 – Trekking and a new village

On our fourth day as volunteers we took a hike into the forest to find the mother elephant with twins. We walked to the next valley with the remaining banana trunks but the mahout said that he was not able to find the three elephants. We hiked up a creek for about another hour to a waterfall, but no elly's were to be seen. I was actually quite pleased about this; if our lumbering group had managed to find them then they would have been easy targets for poachers. In addition, it proved that they really were free to roam.

In the late afternoon we moved onto another Karen village in the back of the now familiar pickup truck. It was a bumpy hour’s ride!  We had each brought a can of beer from the village shop for the journey, but most of it ended up over each other with all the jerks and potholes.

We hoped to observe an annual Karen ceremony were they bless their elephants. Unfortunately for us, the village shaman had decided best to move the ceremony forward a day and so we just missed it! The villagers were very welcoming; one lady took a shine to Sarah and invited her into her house to share tea and some of the local potent moonshine!

We all ate in a local’s house, cooking on their indoor fire, which made it pretty smoky indoors. The family owned a lop-horned buffalo, which gave us a giggle!

Some beautiful forest flowers

Walking up stream in search of the family 

Group shot 

Us by the waterfall

Sarah meeting the locals 

This lady took a shine to Sarah 

Flopsy buffalo 

Inquisitive calf

The village high street

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