Pera Heras and partying!

Trip Start Apr 28, 2006
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Trip End Oct 21, 2006


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Friday, October 20, 2006

Well hello again! Tis me, still having a fantastic time in Sri Lanka, looking after my lovely beautiful elephant Somaliya (who I've become rather attached to in case you couldnt tell!) and doing all sorts of other random things! Since I last wrote we've had lots of new volunteers arriving, so our group has been steadily growing! Not for long though, as Nick and I both fly home on Saturday morning! Cant believe how crazily fast its gone - although at the same time I feel like I've been here ages! It'll be really weird getting used to not waking up surrounded by elephants and the jungle!

Anyway what have I been doing?? Well, Dave's elephant Gune was really sick the other week - he's very old and is pretty much on his last legs - its just a matter of time basically. Which is a bit harsh for poor old Dave, but anyway Gune needed a drip as he wasnt eating or sleeping, so Sam, Dave and I all helped the vets administer it. It was pretty horrible actually, seeing such a massive majestic animal reduced to this weak, swaying, eye-rolling state - he could barely stand. At one point Sam and I were practically holding him up - obviously if he'd actually fallen we'd have legged it -we didnt fancy being crushed under however-many-tonnes of elephant! We were all really worried about him, but fortunately by Saturday evening he had started eating again and was much better - he even whipped out his extroadinarily large willy for us - which must be a good sign! :oS

At the weekend we went to a Pera Hera (Buddhist religious procession with elephants) in a small village somewhere in the back arse of nowhere. When we arrived at the guesthouse we realised that Sunil's organisational skills leaved much to be desired, as he had booked us two triple rooms - which would have been fine had we not also had two vets and a van driver with us! Hmm... Anyway the Pera Hera was great - we were basically treated like royalty, which was nice :o) We had dinner at this v important dude's house - unfortunately it had fish in, so Sam and I who are both veggie, had to try and nibble convincingly at bits of rice which hadnt been in the fish and find excuses for leaving basically the entire meal! When the ceremony began, we got to stand right at the front of the crowd as the temple doors opened and the initial procession began, with much dancing, shouting, drum-banging and playing of snake-charmer-like instruments!! Then the procession started properly, with two of the MEF elephants gorgeously dressed up in amazing costumes, and the male tusker elephant from the temple. And lots of floats and displays with people dancing and singing. The funniest part was when one of the fire-throwers set the other fire-thrower's arse on fire! Through our giggling we shouted at him and finally he noticed the glowing holes in his trousers and began smacking his arse and dancing in circles! Hahaha shouldnt laugh :O) Rani, Sam's elephant, was in the procession and she was awesome - she loves music and was dancing and swaying away, while her mahout beamed with pride. That night we had rather disturbed sleep due to a very selfish man in the next room who'd obviously had far too much to drink and spent most of the night retching extremely loudly!! Grr...

Next weekend was mine and Nick's last weekend, so we all drove to the beach down south for some serious sunbathing. Saturday night we got completely wasted and staggered off to a beach party, which I dont remember very much of! Probably due to the large amount of Sri Lankan weed present - its bloody strong stuff!! After lots of boogying to cheesy music and trying to avoid all the greasy Sri Lankan surfer boys, I ended up staggering back to the guesthouse with Dave - along the road as he didnt fancy piggybacking me along the beach again! Unfortunately everything was locked up on that side so Dave had to clamber over the huge metal gate while avoiding the snapping jaws of the resident guard dogs, which was quite amusing for me watching! Apparently we then stood outside Sam's room talking utter bollocks for 25 minutes! Anyway I was very confused to wake up the next morning opposite Dave instead of Roxy who I was meant to be sharing a room with! Oops! Next day, nursing phenomenal hangovers, we visited the fort in Galle then hit the beach again for yet more sunburn :o)

Tuesday I had my elephant safari with Somaliya - basically I got to ride her around the jungle for a bit, with Banda pointing out random plants and putting flowers in my hair (he was pissed as usual!) Somaliya was being lovely and affectionate again - she seems to finally recognise me and know who I am - after trying to throw a branch at me last week! Apparently she can be quite bitchy sometimes!! I think biscuits and bananas formed a major part of our relationship though - girl after my own heart!

On Wednesday we went on a safari - we were supposed to be going to the national park in Habarana but there was a Tamil Tiger attack the day before we were meant to go so we went to Unawaduwe (or something!) instead. The safari was good, although the ancient tour guide did get rather anxious when we hadnt seen any wild elephants for a whole hour and twenty minutes, and in desperation started pointing out every eagle, peacock and random bird he saw to entertain us! We did see some pretty good sights though, like a young tusker mating - which apparently is very rare to see! Mating for elephants lasts three seconds, then pregnancy lasts nearly two years!! Bit of a crap deal for the females really!! Also saw one wild herd with a two-week old baby in their midst, which was v cute! One big old bugger decided to try and charge our jeep, so we drove off pretty sharpish hehe! Roxy and I spent most of that night getting completely hysterical and squealing over the stupid number of evil bugs in the bungalow! The place was completely open to the outside so with the lights on every single nasty flying, buzzing, scuttling little git came in with the express intention of scaring us - our beds were covered with beetles and there was one particularly massive badboy in the shower! And what with the mouldy mattresses and non-flushing toilet we had a very pleasant night!! :oS

Next day Sara (despite having received a speeding ticket on the way) drove like a bat out of hell round all the swerves and bumps of the winding mountain roads, to get us back in time (albeit rather travelsick) for a party we'd organised with the village school kids for my last day. After lots of junk food and a game of pass-the-parcel, the kids all gave me little spongy flowers, cards and other random gifts they'd made, which was v sweet! :o) Last night we were going to have a big barbecue but as it was pissing it down we had a big indoor feast instead! Pasta salad for the veggies, due to the lack of vegetarian alternatives in Kegalle's baby supermarket! It was a fun night though, had a great time watching Sara get totally stoned out of his head - I think his best leadership skills lie in corrupting the volunteers!

So this evening Nick and I will leave for the airport (sob) and tomorrow I'll be back in shitty old England eeek!! In one way I cant wait but I think I'll be v sad to leave - a month isnt long enough here!!

See you all soon though yay!
Mo xxxx :oP
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