Monday, April 03, 2006

me and the elphanets

After my Sunday Scribblings post and after another earlier post where I mentioned me working at an elephant orphanage, I had several people ask or comment about this. I thought I would explain my apparent obsession with elephants!

I have always loved elephants. (When I was a little girl I called them elphanets.) There is just such a depth and a majesty about them. I love that they live in family groups with a matriarch in charge. I love how gentle they are. I just think that they are absolutely beautiful.

A few months ago the BBC ran a series of programs about an elephant orphanage in Nairobi. I watched enraptured every week as lost baby elephants were found and helped. As elephants are such social creatures, the keepers at this orphanage even slept in the pens with the babies. Keepers became surrogate parents, bottle feeding and teaching the little ones skills that they will need when they are reintroduced into the wild. One of the best episodes showed keepers and elephants all playing a strange game of football together. Watching the babies frolic and play made me laugh out loud. All I wanted to do was get in there and play too.

Shortly after this program ended I found an article in a magazine about a woman who spent her vacation working at an elephant orphanage in SriLanka!!! I clipped the article and pasted it into my Illustrated Journal. Since then it has been one of the top things on my life TO DO list. I found a similar trip on line, and this website is where the photograph I have included comes from.

So that explains my elephant orphanage fantasy. Someday that will be my 'holiday.' I'll be up to my knees in elephant poo and happy as a pig in very similar stuff.

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P.S. I have changed the settings on my site & now you don't have to be a member to leave a comment!!

15 comments:

andrea said...

Megg: Have you read the book "When Elephants Weep" by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson? I haven't, but I did read his equivalent book on the emotional/social lives of dogs and just loved it.

megg said...

andrea - I'm too scared to read it. It's been on my shelf for two years. I'm afraid that when I read it I will have to become a vegetarian - is that weird?!?

doc-t said...

I can honestly say, you are the first person i have ever heard say, they had an elephant fantasy...

i'm..um...what do you say to that? good luck? LOL

M said...

I love elephants too! I got to ride on one when we were in Thailand, it was absolutely amazing. How they move is magical, the feeling of their massive body underneath me was incredible. Their feet are so huge and they are so big yet so graceful and gentl and careful.
I was really angry with how the trainers there treated them and how they were abused, so we said something to our tour operator, but I don't know if anything has changed. I know that Thailand too has orphanages and elephant hospitals, not sure where though- look it up! Have you read "White Bone", buy Barbara Gowdy- its so interesting yet so sad, but you should check it out!

Laini Taylor said...

Meg, this sounds wonderful! There was a really sad article about elephant exploitation in National Geographic some time in the past year. Really heartbreaking what bastards humans are, and the way we think everything is ours to exploit and subjugate. Arg. It would be great to be able to work, even in a small way, to undo some of the damage the rest of our gross species is causing.

tara dawn said...

How wonderful!! I love the picture of that adorable baby elephant, and I love your passion for living out this dream. If you want a companion, let me know. What an incredible way to manifest your nurturing and loving spirit!
Thanks for sharing this...I was wondering about the elephants a bit:)
xoxo

Karen said...

that photo of the baby elephant is adorable!! I now recant everything I mocked you about the elephant orphanage...and I want to come too!! (except for the poo part..I think I'll be out playing football instead)

Caroline said...

Thanks for the explanation - did you see the little elephant getting lost in a dust storm on Planet Earth a few Sundays back - I've cried over it several times... I used to be elephant obsessed too but now I think I'm normal (ha ha!)

megg said...

caroline - I KNOW. I still think about it. I pretend that the crew went down and turned him around and helped him find his family! That has really resonated with people - its what everyone talks about when they talk about it!!

Earth Monkey said...

(first, I wanted to let you know that CSS has me stumped too. And i have been obsessed with trying to figure it all out. I have not figured out the divider lines either, but if I do I will let you know...)

The elephant orphanage dream is just beautiful. Sounds like you are on your way with that. The illustrated journal entry is such a good idea too... I have an empty journal which I will designate as my dreams "in progress" journal. Thanks for sharing about the "elphanets." We dont have TV at this time but the elephant program/special is EXACTLY the type of programming that I miss. Sounds like it was so wonderful to have witnessed.

Mardougrrl said...

You would LOVE India...elephants walking down the streets in parts of Bombay and also in wedding processions!

chest of drawers said...

They are so huge, I was lucky enough to see some when I was in Africa back in 1990. When I was in Nigeria in 1997 a man working with my husband gave us a set of 9 elephants carved in wood in different sizes and they stand on our stairs, one on each step.

Letha Sandison said...

Megg, that sounds like it would be an amazing experiance! You should find a way to make that happen for yourself! I have a feeling it will be things like that we look back on when we're old and grey :) While in Africa I would like to do something similar with the mountain gorillas, we will be living near where they are.

I was going to email you about Sunday scribblings but I couldn't find your address so I will ask you here. I would love to join but I am no writer!! I have a love of writing but no skills or confidence...i it still something that I can join? Is it mainly for professional writers?

Living Part Deux said...

Isn't it amazing how something can so capture us? Other people look at elephants, appreciating their grandure and beauty, but don't feel the physical heart tug that you do. It's wonderful!

andrea said...

People love elephants! It's entirely normal! :) There was an elephant here who needed to go to a more appropriate environment (the southern USA) and the interest/media coverage of her plight was *amazing*.