Did I tell you that my Mom came to visit me while I was in Thailand? She did! She came for a whole week and we had lots of fun traveling together! We went to an island called Koh Chang which means “Elephant Island”. Here is a map to show you where Koh Chang is.

The BEST thing we did on the island was…..see elephants! There are lots of Asian elephants in Thailand, it is considered a national symbol for the country. Elephants do lots of work in Thailand like hauling heavy wood and helping with construction. The place we went to (here is a website about it) is a park where retired elephants live. They have a pretty good life here! In the morning, they have a bath in a little river that is nearby their camp. Then the elephants walk back to their home area to have a snack and then people can ride on them in a basket on their back. The basket doesn’t hurt the elephants since they are so big. The trainers also put a blanket underneath the basket next to the elephant’s skin so they don’t get blisters. The elephants take a walk in the jungle (with people riding in the baskets) and then they get a snack of bananas.  The elephants all look really healthy here, they have enough to eat and their trainers treat them really nicely, which I was glad about.

The coolest thing happened while the elephants were getting a bath. People were invited to get in the water to help scrub the elephants. I was one of the last people to get in. My elephant’s name was Shirley and she is a girl.  The trainer told me to climb up onto the Shirley’s side to scrub her head. Since she was laying sideways in the water this was easy to do. THEN, the trainer said, “put your leg over her neck.” I wasn’t sure why he would say that so I put my leg on the other side of her neck since he was the expert. The next thing I knew, the trainer yelled something to Shirley AND SHE GOT UP OUT OF THE WATER!!!!! I was not expecting this! Then, Shirley walked all the way back to camp which took about 10 minutes WITH ME ON HER NECK!!! NO BASKET OR ANYTHING!!!! It was so amazing, it was just me and her. She knew the way and went really slowly so I wouldn’t fall off. Whew! The best part was, my mom got it on video so I can share it with you! Here is the link to the footage she got! Wow! She even asked me questions once I got down from riding on Shirley, it was great!

Also…..I know you all have your big third grade tests coming up and I want to say GOOD LUCK!!!!!! You all were the best 2nd graders in the world and I know you are the best 3rd graders now! Just do your best, you will make me proud if you DON’T GIVE UP! 🙂

Lots of love,

Miss Young