Elephants Anyone?

by Joanna D.

Lauren, my pal, my buddy, was turning thirty. It’s one of the big ones, you know. While in India, what do you do for one of the big ones? Well, you wash elephants OF COURSE! So we went for an early excursion to an elephant refuge just outside of Kovalam where several rescued elephants spend their days. For sure, washing an elephant is one of the most incredible experiences I have yet witnessed.

Upon arrival we were led towards the water, where the elephants were getting their morning baths. Walking towards the water, I admittedly was a little timid about getting in there with this massive creature. Considering she was the largest animal I had ever come into contact with, I gladly proceeded with caution. Eventually I followed my fearless friends into the water, joining them and the two Indian men diligently working.

Scrubbing her down with a coconut shell, feeling her fill her massive lungs – her rib cage… expand… contract. My hands passing over her thick skin, along her incredibly strong body up to the thin, delicate texture behind her ears. The shear magnituded of power emulating from her passive body while gleefully enjoying her special bath. So magnificent. Powerful. Later on we had the chance to feed some baby elephants fruit and jagary and soon after one of the not so baby elephants got the left over. Mina – with her crazy wirey hair – such a funny feeling giving her water mellon and pineapple – her soft pallet and squishy tongue. Crazy.

After that we went on a little safari… strange, fun …but the best part was the elephants. It was an experience I wont soon forget. Happy birthday, Lauren. This may have beat my bowling/karaoke party after all.

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