An elephant sized interruption

One of the first things you learn to deal with when beginning home schooling is interruptions. You are always being interrupted by something or someone. It could be the telephone, that broken sprinkler outside or a major sporting event on the television. The reasons can be wide and varied.

Friends and family can actually be the main cause of interruptions that sometimes, can cause you to lose an entire day of learning. They know that you are home and have nowhere pressing to be so tend to call on your first when they need help or feel like visiting someone. Half the job of getting yourself organised into a routine is teaching yourself to be focussed and ignore the phone, sprinklers and TV while the other half is teaching those close to you about your schedule and what it means.

The most important thing to remember about interruptions is no matter how hard you try to avoid them, it is inevitable that they will still happen and when this happens – use them to your advantage! Turn them into an opportunity to teach. Just about all interruptions give you the opportunity to teach your children something new like learning about……… Elephants!

There we were last week, half way through a reading lesson when out of the corner of my eye I spotted a slow moving grey mass lumbering past our balcony.

I heard a shout from outside of Chang! Chang! (ช้าง ช้าง) and quickly realised that it was an elephant coming to pay us a visit. Elephants in Thailand are almost as common as Kangaroos in Australia but this remote area of Thailand is quite the exception. It was the first time I had seen one here and upon asking the locals later you would be lucky to see one, once a year. The particular one had come from Surin walking it’s way through many remote villages earning it’s mahout a little money by soliciting people to purchase pieces of sugar cane to feed it.

We quickly put our books down, grabbed the camera and went outside to take a look. I love Elephants and could have fed and watched it all day but unfortunately they were down to their last bag of sugar cane. My wife however does not share the same feeling as I do for the great lumbering beasts and in fact has a phobia about their trunks which to her resemble over fed leeches. I have seen her cross busy roads in Bangkok to get away from an elephant trying to share the same footpath as her and this one was no exemption with her standing at the rear of our house while the kids and I fed it.

As you can see in this photos the kids were not all that sure about our visitor but bravely put their good hospitality lessons to the test by offering it some sweet sugar cane to munch on.

With a little prompt from the mahout the Elephant said thank you with a wave of its trunk and a soft grunting noise before backing out of our driveway, turning east and disappearing down the road.


7 responses to “An elephant sized interruption

  1. Pingback: An elephant sized interruption | Isaan Five O

  2. There has been a smaller elephant roaming Ubon lately. I’ve seen it twice in the last few weeks but had never seen one before that. Speaking of animals in the area, I had a nice chat with my uncle in Sisaket during the holiday who told me about how interesting the border area was 50 years ago with tigers, monkeys and elephants roaming wild. Hard to imagine.

    • I remember about 5 years ago there were always plenty of elephants in Ubon. At lot of them seemed to be located around Market no 5. Since then I heard they had a crack down on elephants on the street (a good idea imo) and they all disappeared over night. Since then I have only seen two of them, one in down town Ubon and the other in Warin until this one last week.
      It must have been amazing around these parts 50 years ago for sure. Unfortunately I find it very easy to imagine what it may have been like when every day I see locals set out into the bush to catch what ever is left of any type of wild life for dinner. A tiger must have fed a family for a week!

  3. I saw an elephant south of Warin headed south around 20 Dec, while comeing home from the graduation at the universty. Only saw on this visit to Ubon aera. Larry

  4. Randy&Susan Roberts

    What a wonderful experience! Just finished dinner and decided to pay you a short visit. Thanks for a wonderful time.

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