Saturday, April 4, 2015

Slice of Life #31 Elephants

I skipped 2 days of our vacation, because I wanted to talk about my favourite part of the trip....... the Elephants!

On our last day, we all went to the elephant training place thing. We were the only people there! The guide named Bowie took us toward a dirt and sand place with wooden benches, and we watched as the mahouts brought the elephants there. We learned how to feed the elephants, get on them, and simple commands like how to go right (kuua) left (Saai) forward (baai) and backward (toy). To get on a elephant, you step on their foot, hold the top of their ear and then pull yourself up. This doesn't hurt the elephant because their skin is so thick. Also, the most kind way to sit bare back on an elephant is to sit on their neck, as close as you can get to their head. Then, we got to ride the elephants by ourselves, and steer them. I rode with Phoebe, and it was so fun! Our elephant went way ahead, and was really fast. Also, it kept spraying us with mud and water! My face was covered at the end of the ride! It was really cool, because someone wasn't steering for us, but we were doing it! At the end, we steered our elephant into the water, and washed her in the river with a stick of crushed sugar cane. It was really awesome.

Photos by Gareth Allum

Slice of Life #30 The Trek

Today, we got ready to go on a 6 hour trek through the mountain forests. We quickly had breakfast, pulled on our hiking clothes, grabbed some bamboo sticks for walking, and started of. Below the cave lodge was a flowing river that we had gone swimming in the day before. We crossed it slowly, wondering what the buzzing was that was coming from the other side of the river. We thought someone was flowing us, and we realised that a tan shaggy dog was crossing the river. I had seen him before, when we first got out of the van. Our guide showed us what the buzzing was. "Cicadas." She pointed. "They eat them here."The second guide added, "You can eat them cooked or right now. You want to try?" Chad, said "Okay." Then the guide grabbed a struggling Cicada from the sticky bamboo, plucked it's wings off, and gave it to Chad. He slowly plopped it into his mouth and chewed. We all laughed as his face changed with the taste. As we continued our walk, the dog was still following us. In fact, he was in the lead! "His name is Sammy." Our guide explained. Up along the path, there was stairs made out of logs, with gaps in the middle. Sammy was struggling. He would jump on the ladder, then his legs would fall through. He was trying so hard. To help him, we picked him up, and set him down carefully on the next level of ground. From there on, he followed us all the way! For 6 hours, he stayed by our side, and lead most of the time, stopping to get water at nearby streams and eating our leftover fried noodles that we had for lunch. After 6 long hours of trekking through dried forest, we came to the village of the Karen tribe. Sammy was still with us!! We also saw 9 little piglets getting milk from there mother along the way. We at last got to the house we were staying in, and had a night of laughter, fun, and games (and amazing food) while Sammy slept under the house, resting after a long day of walking. It was an amazing experience!!

Photo taken by Gareth Allum

Slice of Life #29 The Cave Lodge

After a day of wandering around the streets in Chiang Mai, Thailand, next stop was a hotel called the Cave Lodge, named because of all the caves around it. I was really surprised when the parents told the kids the ride in the van was 5 hours!! Little did we know that as soon as we hopped in the van, we would be amazed. We looked inside the huge van, which was equipped with nice plushy seats, a TV, and even a power outlet! Don't forget the curtains that could go around the entire van, so it was dark and shady! It was awesome! Phoebe, Simone and I spent the next 2-3 hours playing, talking and and competing with Lucy and Vera. Suddenly, we turned on to a curvy road that went on for hours (we were going up into the mountains) and my tummy started to hurt and I felt like I was going to puke. Then, we stopped at a rest stop, were we found a coffee and chocolate stand. All the kids got icy cold milos filled to the brim with rich chocolate and freezing ice. By the way: FUN FACT: Spearmint gum helps with upset stomachs. We each got a packet of it and it really helped! Finally, after a long time, we reached to one and only Cave Lodge. As soon as we got there, all the kids ohhed, and ahhed, because the place was like one giant tree house! It was touching the dirt, but was on stilts, and the whole place was made of bamboo and wood. There was even a swing! After checking in and getting settled, we went down to a cave, where we rode on bamboo rafts through a cold, dark, and damp cave. You wouldn't belive how much bat and bird poo was at the end!!!


Slice of Life #28 Spring Break!

Over the next 4 days I am going to write about what I did on spring break.... Enjoy! Below is a picture of our hotel.

Taking of in to the lighting sky, sky pink and blue and increasing as we go up. The excitedness in my belly floats around as we take of in the small AirAsia plane. The Laws in front of us, (Phoebe, Vera, Simone, Hedi, and Chad. We were going to Thailand!!! It was a long 3 hour plane ride, but I LOVE plane rides! After we got of the plane, we took a van that headed toward the hotel, which was called the River View Lodge. When we got there, as our parents were checking in, we noticed a old weiger. We hopped on gently, trying to weigh ourselves, trying to find the scale that showed it. It wasn't moving at all when we got on it! We were all thinking, what? Then we realised that the thing we were looking at was the power for the entire hotel, and we quickly stopped. After that, all the kids jumped in the cold, aqua blue pool.

Credits :

Friday, March 27, 2015

Slice of Life #27 Gratitude

Every Thanksgiving, our family host a party where some of our friends and family come to celebrate with us. At dinner, we go around the table saying the things we are grateful for. Instead of waiting for another year till thanksgiving, I decided I wanted to do one now. :)

1. My Family
2. My house and the roof I live under
3. Clean water 
4. Friends 
5. Being able to go to ISKL/travel overseas
6. Travel during holidays (I first traveled when I was 3 weeks old)
7. My dog who is amazing
8. LIFE!! 

I am thankful for the life I was given.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Slice of Life #26 Resilient People Tiny Story

Crashing. Burning. Bouncing back, determined to finish what they started. Realising that it is not what is on the outside, but inside that counts. Getting up, smiling, even though there is nothing left for you to hold on to at that moment, looking to the future. Being resilient.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Slice of Life #25 Bricks

Pain. Agony as the yellow bricks poured out of my ribs. Too much! Influenced by the torture, I place my jagged sunset hands coloured hands gingerly on where my ribs were burning away, and pulled with as much as I had left. AHHHHHHHH!! Too much to bear, too much to leave behind. But then again, there is nothing in the world left for me, there is enough to build cheese, houses, and much more! Enough to build the future! I sat there dreaming as I tore myself apart.