Mae Jaem Part 2 – Green tea and Tapioca balls

After the global march for Elephants we went into Chiang Mai on the Sunday to pick up the new volunteers the next day. Burm took me around the city to visit all the beautiful temples, one of them being the one where he spent three years of his novice monk years, while Emily went on her border run. The temples were bustling with people all paying their respect to different gods and icons, rubbing their hands on a gong and placing jasmine flowers as thanks to a god for granting them their wish. The temples smelt of jasmine flowers and incent, and were filled with the low mutter of people praying. I was able to buy some new pants at a local market next to the canal and ate some pork and sticky rice. Emily finally came back from her visa run 12 hours later and we were able to go to their friends house to stay the night. The place is a soon to be guesthouse and spa called Baan Doi Thai. It is located in a remote little place in the mountains far away from the busting city. The food was delicious and extremely healthy, and the bed in the room was extremely comfortable.

The next day we pick up two new volunteers Mark and Callum, on the way home we stop by the waterfall Wachiratan which I was not able to see when I was picked up due to a massive rainstorm we were caught in. Finally home we went to see the elephants and feed them some pumpkin then we had dinner and off to bed. The next day two new volunteers joined us, Tracie and Oliver, who arrived when we had just come back from our morning walk with the elephants. The two boys Callum and Oliver were happy to have a playmate and it overjoyed Glacie, one of the boys who lives at BEES, to have two new friends of similar age. The routine of the days didn’t change but the atmosphere and rhythm changed into many games during free time and even when working. Digging a hole in the stream to create a new bathing area for the elephants soon broke out into a huge water fight with adults and children grabbing buckets and attacking one another. I was able to wash Mae Jumpee while she was eating her pumpkins with not a care in the world that water was being tossed at her from all directions. Sadly the saying “time flies when you’re having fun” was very true for my second week at BEES and before I knew it we were on our way back to Chiang Mai and I was taking a bus to Bangkok the next morning. The little room with the matrass on the floor and elephant decorations was my home for two weeks. Burm and Emily helped make me feel extremely at home and I felt very melancholic leaving them, it felt like I was leaving old friends.

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