World Elephant Day
World elephant day is celebrated on the 12thAugust every year worldwide in aid of raising awareness for the elephant. On project we celebrated in a number of ways, these were;-
· Creating our own short awareness video; volunteers and staff filmed the elephants, mahouts and volunteers in the field as well as adding in a volunteers own opinion of her experience on project. The video is aimed at giving regular backpackers and tourists a better understanding of how elephants may be treated in camps and in hope of them thinking twice about visiting one or at least to do their research first.
Elephant education class for the local children; volunteers and staff took part in educating some of the local children of what makes elephants happy – the forest compared to camps. Elephant body parts and the difference between Asian and African elephants. A paper mache elephant was constructed by volunteers then taken to the nursery for the young children to paint.
· Song/rap contest; the mahouts joined us on base in the evening for the video viewing and competition.3 groups took part in the contest. Raps or songs were altered to focus on the elephants or the village. As the mahouts current favourite song is by One Direction 1 group changed the lyrics from ‘That’s what makes you Beautiful’ to ‘That’s what makes you grey mu-nuh’ (very beautiful in Packinyaw!), the song was well written with a focus on mahouts and their elephants and was voted for by a few vols and mahouts but came last in the competition. The 2nd group changed the lyrics in ‘I’m on a boat’ to ‘In Huay Pakoot’ by Lonely Island, this group focused on living in Huay Pakoot and hiking with the elephants.
The winner of the competition changed the lyrics to the Fresh prince of Bel-Air theme tune. It focused on the person before coming to the village; it had comedy and won the attention of all! The idea is to now perform this short tune in the forest with the mahouts and elephants….Watch this space!!!