Thailand - Northern

Elephant Safari

Party at Sunset Resort


On the last day we went on an elephant ride.  Terry jumped into the seat on the first one, when Rod joined him; I heard the shouts and turned to see them falling to the ground.  The saddle for the box seat was loose.  They were lucky to land on their feet.  This start made us all a bit nervous.  I wondered if elephants were like horses and could sense fear.

I rode on the neck of the second elephant.  Her hairs were prickly and she flapped her ears against my legs.  I kept thinking she could drop her head and I'd be off, with a long way to fall.  It took me a while to relax. 

We went down a steep narrow section to a river.  The water was strong and deep, but no challenge for the elephants.  We passed by rice paddies and jungle.  The elephants kept ripping small branches off trees, as snacks.  We also ripped off a few and passed them to ours so she would treat us well.

After the trek, I headed south for my second visit to the island of Ko Tao.  I decided to chill out and get my mind prepared for the culture shock of my next adventure.

I started at a quiet spot called Sunset Resort.  They offered free yoga classes.  Once again I had a remote bungalow with a hammock and perfect view. 

I arrived just in time to help decorate for a big party.  There was a good turn out.  We had a BBQ, played music, and danced in the sand.

A few days later I walked to the next beach to check email.  On the way I heard about the terrorist attacks in America.  There were three restaurants with TVs.  Each one was filled with people focused on CNN.  I heard of people jumping from the top floors of the World Trade Center and of the final phone calls to loved ones.  I watched for several hours until I couldn't stand it anymore.  It was unbelievable.

I emailed my friends in the New York area to make sure they were safe, thankfully they are.  I was touched to receive a few emails from my International friends expressing their grief and frustration over the attacks.

Since the attack, when people ask where I'm from, the answer not only sounds different, but also is received with compassion for the lives that were taken.

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