Day 5 (Sunday) Chitwan National Park, Nepal
After a non-air conditioned night’s sleep, I woke up to almost normal sized ankles! It was also another early morning as we had a whole day of events planned. We met everyone for breakfast in the comfortable morning air. It was nice and relaxing not to hear the sounds of the city and instead to hear the sounds of the jungle waking up. Before we knew it, we were climbing in the back of the safari vehicles to head over to enjoy our first adventure for the day. We took a relaxing hour long canoe ride down the river. It was the perfect way to start off our morning and probably the best part about my Chitwan experience. Our guide spent the time pointing out different birds, crocodiles and various other things along the shore line of the river. It was a beautiful and relaxing morning. Near the end of the canoe trip, it was starting to get really warm.
We stopped on the other side of the shore where we got out for a couple hour jungle walk. We were not lucky enough to see any tigers or other crazy wildlife. We did see beautiful scenery, birds and some deer. It was a nice and hot walk, but I got the chance to spend a little bit of time talking with our guide. He was a really nice guy and he was the best guide we could have asked for. He had a lot of fun with all of us and this made the weekend experience very exciting. We learned what different droppings belonged to different animals. We even saw tiger dung, but no tigers. We didn’t see any rhinos either, but we did see the place that they typically like to hangout at. There were so many things to see in the jungle even if we didn’t see the wildlife.
After the walk, we headed over the the elephant breeding center. We were all excited to see the baby elephants. There were several young elephants and among them were a set of 10 year old twins, which is very rare in the elephant world! They were fun to watch play around with each other. There was also a one and half month old baby. Elephants can live to be 70 years old and are usually retired at the age of 50. They then roam free but always come home for food. It was so awesome to just sit there and watch all of the elephants. We played with a little one that was outside of the stalls for a few minutes before heading back to the hotel. Our guide started playing with him and then the little one started playing a game of chase with him. It was hilarious.
Back at the hotel, we all quickly changed so that we could run off to go take a quick bath with the elephants. Yes, a bath with the elephants and yes I was still feeling like I was on vacation. This cost us less than $1 to do for about a 5 minute jaunt. We rode the elephant down into the water where we were soon being sprayed with water from the elephants tusk. This happened several times before the elephant laid down in the water and we all fell off. We got back on but were then quickly back in the water. It was a fun few minutes.
It was also a great way to cool down! We had been so hot from the walk around the jungle. We had some time before lunch, so we all went and dried off and I spent sometime in the word. It was a great relaxing time. During lunch we discovered the reason that God had brought us ladies down to Chitwan. Our guide was very interested in hearing more about Jesus. He was so ready and hungry for the word. They set aside sometime before dinner to present the gospel message with him. More on this to come.
After lunch, we had more time to spare. I spent my time hanging out in the shade journaling and chatting with some of the other ladies. Before our next adventure, we had another awesome devotion. It was awesome to see all these things that the younger ladies were bringing to the table to talk about. God is so good and there is always something we can learn. We just need to pay attention. We then headed out for the big finale for the day, Riding Elephants! There were four of us per elephant. We got on and went for an hour and a half ride where we saw rhinos, deer, a peacock and monkeys. Once again, we did not get to see a tiger. Those tricky cats hardly come out to play. There are also very large snakes around there, but we never saw any of those either. It was a very bumpy but excited ride. We finally got the flow of the movement of the elephant which made the ride relaxing. It was a great ride.
We finished the night off with a little walk just outside the hotel walls for some shopping and then dinner where we learned about how the presentation with the guide went. He had brought another friend with him and was very excited. He was understanding what was being said to him! They spent a lot of time talking with him as he asked questions and they gave him more contact information. We aren’t completely sure if he accepted Christ, but he understood it and was interested in learning more. He wanted to go back to his friends and family and share it with them as well. If we hadn’t come down here to experience more of Nepal, our guide would not have been able to experience this. This helped me be more comfortable with our little vacation. This also made us really excited for when we got back to Kathmandu to spend more time helping and sharing with the people there.