December 23,2010 Elephant Nature Park

OMG...that guy is almost as tall as an elephant...almost as tall as a MOUNTAIN

Hello virtual Holiday Travelers!!!   Are you all having a wonderful Christmas week?  Steve and I are still in Chiang Mai Thailand, tuning ourselves to the rhythm of the city.  For a large SE Asia city, Chiang Mai has an interesting “small town” neighborhood style vibe.  The pace is upbeat and vibrant yet never rushed feeling.

It reminds me of Thailand’s Asian Elephants.  Everything they do is purposeful, community oriented, and gentle as can be.  To spend a full day at Elephant Nature Park yesterday reminded me once again to slow down…nothing is so important that it can’t be accomplished at a pace that produces both harmony and healing for the body and soul.  The elephants have this perfected and we can all take a page from their book.

Founder of ENP, Lek, with her pack

This was my 3rd visit and Steves first. He completely immersed himself in the experience….bathing the ellies, learning their abused and neglected histories, walking with the elephants to the river….and getting an upclose opportunity to pet the 2 baby elephants born this year.  The first ever born to the park.  Asian Elephants are on the Endangered Species list so these two babies are like gold for the population numbers.

Jodi Thomas is one of the hardest working women I know and was the person who took me under her wing on Diana’s and my trip in 2008.  I was concerned about being among such silent stepping giant creatures with my limited peripheral vision.  If you have followed the blog for a while you have read the story of blind Jokia and her best friend Mae Perm and how Jodi gave Diana and I one on one time with those girls at the river, comparing Diana and I to these lovely ellie ladies who need one another for guidance and friendship.  Jodi took us down to the river once again with the “girls” to have some one on one time.  I can’t thank you enough Jodi for making this visit perfect.  I promise my daughter and I will do an overnight stay when we  come in the fall


Well yesterday Jodi took time out of her very busy schedule to introduce Steve and I to Lek the founder of ENP while she was under the same baby elephant I did the video about earlier this year.    Baby has doubled in size since February.  Lek is still as petite as can be and so sweet and kind with total dedication to her elephant project.  I can’t describe how in awe I am of this woman.  A real heroine in my book.  You will see a lot of  photos I took of Lek with her rescue dogs as well as the elephants.

I have a lot of photos to show you…between Steve and I we took over 500 today but can only display 100 on the blog  so I’ll work on posting more when I return home in a few weeks.  The descriptions will be added to each photo later as well..  I’m on a bit of a time crunch getting ready for our Hilltribe trek with Sergeant Kai today.  Have a glorious Christmas eve my dear friends and thank you so much for following our journey.

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About Sandra Miller

My name is Sandra Miller and I love to ART. I enjoy my studio and home in beautiful Portland Oregon with my husband Steve and our charming Finnish Lapphund dog named Ihana