We had a great morning at elephants. Narlaka was with us and he is so much more fun than Kasun. He chats to us and encourages us to ask questions about the elephant. Anything he doesn’t know he will ask the mahout for us.
All 5 of us were scrubbing the same elephant. We worked hard and the mahout was really pleased with us. We had done the back so well the mahout said he wouldn’t have to go over it again.
We had almost finished the whole elephant within the hour, we were all getting quicker.
When we left, the mahout smiled and waved at us! He was so happy as with us doing such a good job it meant he would have more time to relax.
We all felt really pleased and like we had accomplished something.
A mahout is always a man, there are no female mahouts in the world. The mahout is a family thing, with the father passing down the knowledge to his son. They have a language of about 25 words, which is specific to the mahouts. An African elephant would understand the same words from a mahout as an Asian elephant.
The mahout is hired by the owner of the elephant to care for it. Elephants have post-mortems like humans and if the elephant dies due to skin infection, the mahout would be responsible and in trouble. This is why we scrub them, to remove the pollution from their skin and ensure there are no cuts or sores that could get infected.
After the moring of work, we sunbathed and chatted on the roof terrace for a bit.
Jenny was feeling really ill and lay on her bed. She looked awful and felt really sick, feverish and had a headache.
The ‘squad’ sat on the floor as she rested and we chatted, telling her funny stories and keeping her mind off how she was feeling.
We were waiting for the doctor appointment, here you take a number like at the delicatessian and wait. Luckily one of the coordinators got a number and then they call when it’s nearly time. Otherwise you could be waiting there for ages.
Manesh came in and said we were ready to go. All 4 of us trouped down together, and as we were being driven in a van, we could all go with her.
The doctors surgery was just someone’s house. The waiting room was in their garden and then the surgery was a little room inside. We were told to sit down and wait, there were a few local people waiting too.
After almost 45 minutes Kenny was called up. She asked that I went with her as the ‘adult’, and Manesh came in too.
The doctor asked her symptoms and luckily we had made a list on her phone so she could just read them off.
He laughed a lot, and said that India was dirty. He then spoke to Manesh, wrote some letters on a piece of paper and turned around.
The whole time he had a fly on his head!
We left the room, confused as we had not been told anything. Manesh told us to sit down again. It was very strange, but it was making Jenny laugh at least.
Manesh then handed me a load of paper packets, and Jenny was told to pay. Still no idea what the doctor said and what these tablets were.
We left and I flicked through the packets, they all said vitamin E which caused giggles again.
Back at the house I spoke with Manesh, and he explained each packet had a different set of tablets in. He gave instructions on when to take them. We still don’t know what the diagnosis was, but the tablets seem to be working as she is feeling a lot better.
That evening the elephant people were with Ashika who gave us information on elephants and the project. It was really interesting, and quite sad as he told us about an elephant that died a few years ago. He teared up and it was so heart warming to see how much they mean to him.
We had a quiet evening, although getting peace in the house these days is difficult. There are some very loud people in the house and they are really starting to grate on me. They are just loud for no reason. They are not funny and just make annoying noises. I think it’s difficult being in a house like this. With only one living space, and 30 people in the house it’s just too small.
I love the 3 girls, and although we joke about me being the adult of the group, I really am. Today when Jenny was ill, I wanted to care for her and made sure that we stayed with her. Going into see the doctor, she asked me to go with her and all the girls looked to me to understand what was going on.
I have never felt maternal, in fact children are not something I see myself having any time soon. But with these girls, they look up to me and I would do anything to help them.
I haven’t told them anything about the original plan, and I haven’t explained why I’m here. I think this has helped me as I’m not talking about it. He still hasn’t responded to me, and I’m avoiding Facebook so I don’t see photos and hurt.
To these girls, I’m just a fun friend and I like that. I’m not Sazzle, but they like who I am now.