Down By The River

I look forward to the day where I walk outside and don’t instantly start melting. The harsh sun illuminates my pale skin in a way that could take you off guard, and not in a good way. More like it could damage your retinas. You would think that I would start to develop a tan at some point, but the SPF 60 I require so I don’t burn to a crisp, does not allow it. After a man wanted to take a photo with me, I asked my friend why, and she replied, ‘swy’. When pronounced in Thai it sounds like ‘so white’, which is what I thought she said. I figured that was pretty fair. When translated to English it means beautiful. Thanks stranger?

Luckily for Wednesday and Thursday I was safe from the sun in the lab. My lab skills are a little rusty, but it was good to get back into it with a little leptospirosis testing. We spent the evenings watching Netflix and adventuring for food. One such adventure lead us in the direction of pizza after having our fill of rice in the previous days. Google maps said one thing, and the street said another. After over an hour of evening cardio in the overwhelming humidity, we finally managed to just get it delivered. The things westerners will do for pizza.

Friday we ventured to a floating market. Which is something I’ve always wanted to do. There was a part near the water that we explored first, that was a giant maze of odd food and trinkets. We were periodically almost run down by motorcycles that were for some reason allowed to venture through the winding isles.


We had lunch by the water, while vendors in small boats passed us by offering their goods. Brett bought some limes from one lady just for fun. I loved watching the large fish come near the surface waiting for something to be dropped for them. They quite enjoyed the scrapes from our meal, except for the cucumber that is.


After lunch, for us and the fishes, we went on a boat tour of the river. It was beautiful as always. There were many lovely homes, old and new. There were water crops being grown by some. It was a relaxing way to spend part of the afternoon. I love being on the water. The pictures really do not do the area justice.




After the tour it was back to the classroom for a lecture on wildlife tracking as it related to highly pathogenic avian influenza. A rather interesting topic. Then we were able to watch a demonstration on how to put a transmitter on a crocodile. Which was kind of amazing. Though we were told about last minute and got some odd looks from people attending the ‘crocodile meeting’ that clearly had no idea who we were. I don’t think they liked my polka dot shorts.

And there you have it. The two week program is over. Just a day of wandering before heading to the elephant sanctuary. It’s been a wonderful experience, where I got to learn a lot and participate in some fascinating projects. I may be showing my dorky side here, but there is always more to learn and I look forward to doing a lot more of that in the future. For now? Elephant husbandry awaits.


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