Big thanks to our volunteers!
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This week has flown by. All the volunteers here have worked really hard, and all their ideas have started to take shape and come to life!

 

We have our gardeners, Bert, Anne-Bob, Elizabeth and Will, who have worked long, hard hours under the hot sun, tidying up the garden, weeding and planting new crops. They had the idea of making a herbal remedies hut, so we can sell products to tourists, providing another small income for the elephants. They have blown us away with their progress. After a day, a new path had been created, complete with steps! Big thank you to a couple of volunteers that have since moved on with their travels, Kevin and Judy! Bamboo was collected onsite, and within days, bamboo poles were erected, tied with rope, a roof constructed with wood from the local saw mill and finished off with palm leaves weaved by women in the local village. This week they will be working on the walls, again all made from natural materials. Each time walking past the garden, something new had taken shape. We all can’t wait to see the finished herbal remedies shack.

We have had a bunch of volunteers revamping the museum, and it looks amazing! Marion, Mardi, Lea, Gemma, Liz and Vicki giving the walls a good clean and a fresh coat of paint, and its now beaming! Sian has been updating some of the information boards and repainting some of the stands. And the finishing touch, after lots of hassling from the mahouts, was the remarking of the flood line. Thank you all!

Ilse and Neave have been working on a new sign for the museum entrance. Great work guys!

The transformation of the office into a resource centre overflowing with information about the world and its fascinating places, people and creatures is coming along. A new coat of sky blue paint has made it glow. The package of goodies, projector, laminator etc is on its way to us, and the volunteers are working hard on fact sheets to cover the walls with the worlds knowledge. The table and bookshelves are varnished and being used. Wayne spent hours rewiring all the computers and tidying up. And our book collection is slowly growing. Fiona arrived today with 3 nature books to make the new total 15!  Thank you!

Midweek, we decided to get everyone in the river to get mucky! The rains wash down litter from upstream, and we don’t want our elephants to bathe in rubbish, so we all rolled up our trousers and jumped in to get wet. We pulled out the usual litter, plus some unusual bits and bobs including a sari and a tyre! It was a great morning, all our volunteers hard at work, whilst Kavari Raja stood calmly in the background, just watching! Cheers Kavari!

James and Mary have been kindly making some shelving units for the jungle cabins. Thanks guys, many volunteers to come shall be very grateful. Jesper and Hayden came up with the brilliant idea of building a wishing well, as another means of donations. After a few days of digging through first stone and then coal, the hole is getting deeper and deeper.

Jesper is our house magician and is holding a magic show here next week as a fundraiser for the enclosure. Can’t wait for that! And Karina and Jade are offering foot massages to raise money. Great for those who unlike me have unticklish feet. We have our first group of Adam’s Peak Challengers climbing tonight, so look forward to their stories. And Wayne and I are off on our second field trip to Habarana this week to talk to the farmers about our conservation strategies. So much more interesting news to come!  Halina

Volunteers at Millennium Elephant Foundation Sri Lanka

 

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