Yesterday morning I joined the kids for a swim at an elephant camp. About forty kids scrunched into the back of the truck, and 6 of us held onto the back. It was a VERY long 40 minute drive away....It's going to feel so strange when I'm back in the states and get to ride in a regular car with a regular amount of people again. AND it will be strange to wear seat belts....very strange.
When we arrived at the designated swimming spot, Lars pointed out a couple of elephants standing by trees, fanning out their ears and swaying from side to side. It felt very cool to be swimming in a river that was watched over by elephants--although I was careful to not open my mouth and let ANY water in (who knew what the elephants had done in there...not to mention the kids).
After the kids piled out of the truck, and ransacked the local trees for fruit, they proceeded to run to the river and push each other off of the rafts that floated across it. I was enjoying watching them play, when two of the teenagers snuck up behind me and pushed me in as well (shoes and all). I was happy to join in the fun--it's amazing how long kids can stay entertained with a little bit of water and the freedom to push each other around. We left to go swimming at 8:30 in the morning, and didn't get back until about 4:00 in the afternoon!
Unfortunately, I started feeling sick about half way through the day, and had to stop swimming in favor of rest. While I was curled up in the back of the truck, some of the locals came and tied the rafts to the back of some elephants to give them a ride through the river (along with the tourists that were actually PAYING for the experience). They had a great time, despite the incredible heat that was beating down on them.
By the time we finally left, all of the farang, and even the Thai volunteer that was with us, were showing signs of sun exposure. When we got home, it hurt to walk--I had forgotten to put sunscreen on my knees....and they were pretty darn red. I don't think I've ever had a sunburn over a major joint before.....knees have got to be one of THE worst places to get burnt. I can't bend my legs very well at all (combine this inconvenience with the commodity of squat toilets, and you've got yourself a problem). Today my legs feel slightly better...until I move them. I've been trying to walk without bending my knees and I look like an idiot. My queezy stomach, hasn't helped matters. Haha....I guess I should just be happy that I'm not still limping from the tack I stepped on last week.... I could give my mom a run for her money when it comes to being accident prone. Let's just hope I'm done with this stage by the time I get on my plane for home next week.