(Elephantstay, Ayutthaya, Thailand)
the road leading to Elephantstay!
“Elephantstay, Royal Elephant Kraal, Ayutthaya, Thailand”
An update on our situation Friday 29th October 2010.
Sunday 10th October, we rushed back from Bangkok as the river had risen all of a sudden, but we had no idea it was going to be such a disaster. Flooding has meant evacuation of us all as well as theelephants.
Have spent too many days wading through rising water carting stuff into the huts. We were hopeful the water would not get higher than in 2006. Then the water came to just a couple of inches short of the floor of the huts.
We have been working until mentally and physically exhausted. The mothers and babies are in the Kraal, some of the dangerous elephantsare up near the Kraal, but now the water has reached to the road. The other elephants are about a mile down the road, where they went in 2006. That road to that place is half closed as well due to flooding.
Michelle and I are lucky as our wonderful friend, Wimon, who has the driving business, has generously let us stay in her home stay. That is Michelle and I, Paul, (our trusty expat volunteer who lives at the Kraal, who has worked his butt off helping with everything) our two dogs, Buddy and Little Girl,(Buddy has been a problem as he is getting old and feeble and we are on the second floor and his bladder is not working too well).
Munchie the cat, Boonlua the monkey who did not want to come, so we had a bit of fight getting him into the cage we bought for his temporary stay outside and so I have to spend time holding his little hand for comfort, Stripe his rabbit, and the bird, Rosalie One Wing, so all in all it was quite the evacuation just for us, let alone for Pi Om, where sand bagging his house gave him a couple of days to try and get his stuff out of the house.
They ended up knocking out a wall at the back to remove stuff and get it into his new house, which was still not finished. So he has had his plate full with supervising and coordinating all the elephants, people and all. A very stressful time for all.
On top of that we have already had to turn away a number of people, over 500,000 baht so far, so it has been devastating on all fronts. We can’t afford to keep sending away people and losing out on so much income. It is going to cost us a huge amount of money to recover from this setback and the damage the floodwater has done.
It is also extremely upsetting to us turning away people as we know Elephantstay is so often the highlight and main reason people are coming to Thailand. That has been really hard on us as well, knowing the flooding has affected so many people’s plans and dreams.
Pi Om mentioned he was going to take Boon Seuhm, Natalie, Plai KonKha and some other killer elephants to Bangkok to see the Prime Minister, as this state of affairs is unacceptable. What the government and so many people don’t seem to realise, is Pi Om could easily sell all his problemelephants and just keep the ones that are easy and make money and then we would not have to worry about a thing, but of course he wont do that.
Close to half the elephants don’t make any money at all yet they need to be looked after by people who know what they are doing and need to be given a life that is safe and secure and where they will get the care they need and deserve.
Things are not looking good. We feel helpless, frustrated and exhausted by it all. The water is at an all time high, it was most distressing going in today and taking the photos to show everyone how bad the situation is. It was all I could do not to burst into tears.
So pray for us if you can as we need all the help we can get.
Ewa and Michelle
Now is the time for us to give back….. Please click on the donate button on the website and help us help Elephantstay.
There is also some information about the floods here at Elephantstay flooded .
You can also view photo’s and updates on our Facebook Elephantstay page here.
Thank you so much to those who have already donated. EVERY little bit helps and everyone at the Kraal is greatly appreciative for all of the support.