The calm before the storm

The sound of heavy rain engulfed the room. It was rainfall in the jungle. It’s clouds spat out warm downpours that seemed to never end. I could lie there listening for hours.

 

Serenity.

 

I silently drifted off into a deep sleep. It was just me, my dreams and the sound of the jungle. I was calm and content and peacefully asleep.

 

UNTIL

 

“Help! Help! I need a doctor.” Screamed a frantic Irish lady. For a moment I lay there thinking “Am I still dreaming?” I later realised I was not and the voice turned into a voice I recognised all to well.

 

It was the cry of Anita O’Shea.

 

Scrambling to find my phone,

 

I turned on the torch, put on my shorts and faced the wilderness.

 

Wallo had just had a seizure and was throwing up at the side of her mouth. She needed medical attention. When she did wake she wasn’t lucid and her eyes were dilated. She wasnt with it. It was like she was talking but it was as if she wasn’t there. After several stumbles later we managed to get her back to what seemed like normal.

 

Ciara rang her mum, a nurse. She explained possible reasons for this seizure and told Una to get her to a doctor asap. Una, our leader for the evening isn’t a rep and so she never received any first aid training before venturing out here. This is a foreign country to her and in that moment I felt like the world was swallowing her up. But she pulled through.

 

After the persuasion of the group wallow was taken to hospital. I think the scariest thing about all of this is that we were in the middle of nowhere as newbies with a newbie as our rep. I took little notice o this however to avoid anymore hysteria from the group. Instead I tried to get back to sleep ad surprisingly I was out quicker than you could say flash.

 

Once again: sweet dreams and hopefully no more disturbances in the jungle.

 

Goodnight.

 

Overnight stay at the elephant sanctuary

This place is the jungle. It’s the home of ‘Save the Elephants’ here in Cambodia and what an absolutely terrific job they’re doing. In comparison to the elephants I had seen at Angkor Wat carrying paying tourist after another, these elephants looked over the moon. They were joyous and loud and full of life. Maybe that was because it was dinner time. But I think more importantly it was because these elephants have been rescued, saved from unnatural labour. They had their mojo back and it was a flame that is never ever going to burn out again.

We started the day off by teaching at a nearby school. Our topic for the day was Time. A lot of them couldn’t understand us that well and had difficulty reading through the texts but we endeavoured to do our best and make it work. The children were extremely grateful. We then played a few games with them outside before we left.

Next, it was elephant time. I helped chop up the sugar canes for the elephants whereas one of the locals prepared Kimlin’s rice bowl. She’s 65 years old and blind. She even sprayed Emma with water – amazing.

It was so nice being up close feeding the elephants. They genuinely looked happy and were free to roam. They were loving life and their food hampers. You can tell this sanctuary really helps make a difference in rebuilding the animals confidence in knowing that they truly have their soul back and are free.

“We must protect, preserve and care about more than just ourselves. Humans are just one small component of a much larger ecosystem here on planet earth.”

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Today I learnt that the elephants lean on something to go to sleep and only catch about 2-4 hours each night. They’re such majestic creatures and it pained me watching the videos about their brutal past and present situations. Logging is now banned but elephant tourism is still here mainly due to travelers endorsing into the industry. It’s wrong on so many levels. If only people knew what exactly goes on in this industry. They’re often tied up, stabbed with hooks and de-animalised everyday. And for what? A 20 minute ride and a pit stop for pictures?

I wish I had more time here to experience more of what this place actually does.  But so far, the outcome and future prospects are incredible.

I did enjoy sitting out on the benches watching the elephants from sunset to dusk. It was tranquil ad peaceful and allowed for me to sit there and take everything in.

It was a great writing spot.

Now I’m in bed, like a princess under my mosquito net. Hopefully it keeps the bugs out.

But

For right now, I don’t really care that much. I can hear the crickets singing and the insects dancing. It’s a lullaby that I dont ever want to end.

Sweet dreams.