One year ago today, we were resting in Thailand between respite care in our various homes and a required visa trip to India (we had to be out of Malaysia for 90 days, specifically starting on September 2). While in Chiang Mai, which is a lovely town in the north of Thailand, we had the opportunity to volunteer for a day at an elephant sanctuar
In the morning, every family group got to bathe/massage one elephant. Then the elephants went to play in the river. We came across “our” elephant, Mae Boon Ma, after she enjoyed the river. Mae Boon Ma has been at the Sanctuary since 1955; she was rescued from logging. Amazingly, in the 19080’s, Thailand outlawed logging, which has protected innumerable creatures, workers, and acres of wilderness.
At the end of our day, we were walking back to the vans, when who should appear but Mae Boon Ma and a group of mother/baby elephants. Incredibly, she walked right up specifically to our family, put her trunk by Caedmon, and made it clear that she was waiting. Our guide explained that this was very rare, for an elephant to let someone near its trunk so willingly. Caedmon hugged her, and it was clear that this was not a chance encounter, but a real connection with an animal that is wise, kind, and has feelings. It was a beautiful memory that we will carry, and it helps us to stand strong for care of God’s creation.