As good as it was before. With the added bonus of 2 new baby elephants, one of which was born only 3 months ago. A baby elephant - I say "baby", it's still the size of a sofa - is like a combination of a puppy and a baby, they have a 'im running and I dont think I can stop' quality about them. They're skin is soft in comparison (especially their trunks) and are of the weight (just) to climb over you if you're crouching or sitting. They can also go into 'nap' mode really quickly, stopping and swaying before keeling over for half hour or so - very cute.
Apart from that everything was the same, they'd built or expanded a few things - a river walkway being the biggest addition - and some of the people who were there before have left, but it was still the same amazing place. It was a nice thing to be remembered, surprised some with my return, especially the volunteer coordinators in the office on the first morning. It was nice to see Lek & Pom again, still dedicating every minute to their elephants and because I'd been before, was given more freedom and often helped the vc's in organisation or providing information to volunteers - did feel a little privileged I wont lie.
The group was a lot bigger than the last time I was there by atleast 15 people but we were a good bunch, quieter i'd say than before and we took longer to bond I think, but only because of the size thing. Tasks were same same with the addition of trench digging replacing fire breaking. Corn cutting, food preparation, tree planting, grass cutting, poo shoveling & elephant bathing were still staple chores, but they never feel like it, it's always a laugh. My determination to get a permanent position at the park only increased, although I think people normally aren't so blunt about it so I think they thought I wasn't serious. How wrong they are.
So it's full on wet season now, it rained everyday at the park, normally constant and heavy for the whole day but it was nice to see the contrast between the hot and wet seasons - dust becomes mud and baron becomes grass. It's still warm and people still got burnt in the sun but I really dont mind the rain and mud, although I got told today London is hotter than Bangkok which seems a little alien. I think im going to spend my last days between Chiang Mai and Bangkok but I have no plan, i'll take it easy and see what happens. The thought of coming home isn't exactly a good one (not to sound like a dick) but home is a weird concept right now. I feel the need to warn you in advance, expect a bit of a comedown... :-/
Im off to rainbathe. X