Location: Buffalo Mueseum, Aquarium, and Crocodile Farm
Today, we woke bright and early to travel to the Buffalo museum and aquarium. Waking up at six in the morning was too early for most, but everyone awoke with eagerness to hang out with the elders the rest of the day. After getting dressed, everyone headed down to the breakfast downstairs where we were given plenty of options such as sushi, eggs, toast, etc. At about 7:20 am, the buses from the Duaeng Pratep Foundation arrived and took us to the school. As we arrived, we saw all the excited elders with their bags and t-shirts getting on the bus. We received a bag full of delicious snacks and jumped on the buses. It was around a two and a half hour drive to arrive at the buffalo museum.
The trip started out with Buddhist prayers spoken over the loudspeaker by the most gravelly voiced man ever! Following, we had a dance party with a number of the Thai elders to funky Thai dance hall grooves. After the long journey, we got off the buses and walked through the entrance. We saw many live buffalo and had the chance to pet them. They licked people’s arms with their scratchy tongues. The whole crowd was then directed to go sit down so that we could watch the show. During this show, they demonstrated the different ways buffaloes were used and the tricks they had learned. It was unbelievable to see how people would jump from buffalo to buffalo and how the animal would not even flinch but remained calm while these activities happened on its back. After the show, everyone was given the opportunity to ride a buffalo. Everyone took tons of photos petting and riding these beautiful calm creatures. We were given time to walk around the rest of the park and saw many other animals like lizards, birds, ostriches, cassowaries, etc. The place was very peaceful and relaxing and the elders enjoyed greatly from this visit. Once we finished visiting the park, we walked out and ate lunch at a local restaurant. Before leaving the buffalo park, the elders decided to show us their gratitude by giving each of us beautiful wooden bracelets they had bought for us. We all ate traditional Thai food such as carp, vegetables, watermelon, squid, and rice. After lunch, everyone hopped back on the buses for about an hour and we then traveled to the aquarium and crocodile farm. In the aquarium, we saw many unique looking fish that are not commonly found around the world; we even saw tiger and nurse sharks. We visited the crocodile farm soon after and saw all the crocodiles in their natural habitat. Most were sleeping, laying, or swimming around. There was a separate habitat for the trained and baby crocodiles. All the people from the Duang Prateep Foundation were so happy and grateful that we accompanied them to these places that they bought a group of us boxes of kettle corn. We all felt that we should be doing this nice stuff to them and decided to buy them boxes of kettle corn. We went right back on the bus for about an hour and then stopped for half an hour for a food break. It was very pretty to see all the scenic rice plantations and their farmers. The faces they expressed were one of the most memorable and never forgetting expressions we all had seen. After a long day of touring, we finally arrived back to the hotel where we ordered pizza to come to deliver. All of us then crowded together to hear the squeeze question and headed to bed.