By Anneliese Neif – 2 weeks volunteer
We started our “Jungle Survival” adventure in the morning of 28th of august. We went out to our chosen camping ground, in the middle of beautiful, green rice fields and stayed in a lovely hut, made of wood, next to a river. If you are quiet, you can hear the life around you, all the little frogs, the insects, the water, the trees…. Just like in a fairytale!
When we got there, we laid our sleeping-out gear in the hut and started the hike to the elephants, it was a little bit complicated and abit of an adventure going through the rice fields as the path between the fields is very small and curvy. After we finished the rice fields, the forest started. Our next challenge was walking through the forest with a few spiders around us! But I was brave because Sombat was with us, a Mahout who looks after us and I am sure he would save our life if anything happened! Before we went into the forest, Sombat noticed a tree with guava and he picked up some for us. They were not quite ready to eat but the middle of the fruit was good and tasty.
After this little snack, we went into the forest which was absolutely beautiful. I enjoyed the view and the temperature. It was not to hot, not to cold, just perfect for a hike! A lot better than in the sun in the rice fields. After a few minutes we saw the elephants. They just came over to us to find the bananas. After feeding them, we sat down and relaxed. We looked around, enjoyed the peace in the forest and looked after the elephants. I love to look into their eyes, there is so much peace and calm in them.
After about an hour, we went back to our base camp. Talia, Alessandro, Sombat and me sat down and waited for the rest of our group who had been teaching at the school. While waiting we walked around the place and I tried to find the way back to the guava tree. Unfortunately a spider was in my way so that I had no chance. I survived, but I fell into the planted rice. My pants and shoes were completely covered with water. However, it was a nice feeling, because it was a hot day!We then went back to the camp to change my clothes. After this we just talked and the rest of the group arrived at about 3 pm. We put up the mosquito nets and the sleeping bags and started cooking – vegetables and noodles with rice. I am not a big fan of Thai food but the food in the village is better, and the food we cooked was even better than the food I ate in the city. I love garlic and we had a lot of it!
When we finished cooking we started dinner, it was really good and healthy. While sitting and eating there, a dog from the village came and joined us. We gave him a little bit of food and finally a boy from the village passed and the dog followed him back. After cleaning the plates, we started playing cards, talking about life and find out more about each other, it truly was a great experience!