I couldn't commit to the full week so instead did 4 days/3 nights. Rather than treating me like a volunteer, I participated in the visitor activities like feedings, bathings, and taking walks. By the second day, I was itching to get my hands dirty, but they already had more than enough volunteers so there was no work for me to do. I found myself a little disappointed about how the visit was going. Then I bumped into Jodi! She's an American tattoo artist who visited the park 8-9 years ago and never left. She now lives and works in the park. I connected with her during my first visit to donate a painting to the park. I reintroduced myself and hot diggity, she remembered me! She asked if I'd been drawing much, and I said not as much as I'd like, and she invited me to a drawing date with her and the elephants tomorrow morning. So, for the next couple days, I spent my time out on the field with Jodi's guidance, just us, our painting supplies and the elephants. Here are the results:
On to the next stop, Chiang Mai & Phrao, Thailand.