Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Big love

So we drove from Colombo to Nuwara Eliya yesterday. Sri Lanka is just so lush green that it's a pleasure just looking out of the window. Our driver Ruwan Kulasekara (actually I don't know his last name but it sounds like Nuwan Kulasekara so I'm going to call him that) drove very very slowly in keeping with everything else in Sri Lanka. Here they seem to have all taken all the time in the world which is why the rest of us in other parts of the world find ourselves struggling for it. He informed me that Lanka has the highest number of public holidays which means the economy grows very very slowly and the people are most happy. Makes sense no? At one point there were a lot of injured and disabled elephants in Sri Lanka due to the disturbances in the region. They got hurt by the landmines and so the then president Premadasa set up the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage about 25 years ago. We stopped on our way
to meet the elephants. Anshuman and I fed this lovely pregnant elephant Komali. After the food was finished she kept her trunk on Anshuman's lap wanting more but the food was all finished. She was thoroughly dirty and so adorable.

And then we heard a whistle and heard a herd of elephants moving urgently in the direction of the river. They love water and spend about two hours or so in the water. We followed as Komali ran as
an elephant possibly can to join her friends. And there they all are. Mamas, Papas and babies headed towards a much needed bath. I could only stare with wide eyes at how adorable these giants are. How can someone kill one to get to their teeth. I've never bought anything made with ivory and I have no intentions of doing so ever. I beseech all of you who read this to do the same. Poachers should be hanged. Seriously. I would have no problem signing a death sentence for

one and breaking the nib. And there they are in their natural habitat cooling off. The attendants take very good care of them. They bathe them and even remember to clean behind their flappy ears. Although I saw one of the girl elephants (I think she was a girl because she kept crossing her hind legs) bathe and then shower mud all over herself with her trunk. Messy people they are and so adorable. They did try releasing the elephants which grew up in the orphanage into the wild but it didn't work. They would go into
the villages as they had become quite used to being in the company of people. The villagers began hurting them afraid that the gentle giants would hurt them or worse. So now they stay within the orphanage all their lives. This little fellow followed his mum everywhere. They really are so affectionate. I felt like it's their earth and we had no right to do what we've done to it. I won't even talk about the circus and the zoos and the way they treat animals.
On a lighter note Anshuman pointed to something in the river and said,"Look at that!"

I did and saw a long elephant turd floating in the river. "What's wrong with you?!" I said. He ignored my question and said,"Aww it got stuck in the rocks and broke." I shook my head and he continued,"Imagine what a beautiful digestive system an elephant has. And then we bought some notebooks and souvenirs made from elephant poop. Very nice. These two guys slept in the water back to back until some of their friends woke them up by prodding them with their trunks. And now I need to get ready for breakfast. So it's Goodbye for now from Nuwara Eliya in beautiful Lanka! 

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