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I had a feeling that at some point on the trip I would be knocked out by a bug of some kind. At some point early on Saturday morning, I felt it in my gut. We had gone to bed in our little cabin by the river, along with a few flying critters. Part of my brain wondered if one of them had injected me with something.
I got up and dressed in the morning but knew after only a few moments that resistance would be futile. I cancelled my breakfast order and returned to bed, swirling in my hallucigenic thoughts and dreams. Eventually, I took a couple of Ibuprofen and gave myself a reprieve. All of a sudden I felt alive again, ready to face the world and have a final visit with three of the elephants that had returned from their forest walk early.
The staff at the Elephant Haven were very understanding and sympathetic to my predicament and offered to give us a ride directly to our ferry to save us some walking. My meds were starting to wear off on the van ride back to town and the fever was starting to come back. Driving past countless food vendors with whole chickens roasting on a spit in the hot sun was not terribly pleasant. We made it though, and got across the river on our ferry and back to our AirBnB base of operations. I went horizontal almost immediately and returned to my feverish delerium. The fever broke for real in the middle of the night and I was able to eat some granola and an apple first thing in the morning.
Nat and Eed have moved us to what they call “The Big House”, an elevated rental home with room for four or five people. They don’t get as many renters for this space and it was easy for them to move us here. This is a picture of Heather talking to Ben using FaceTime. What a remarkable thing. Eed’s brother Odd has offered to give us a ride to Bangkok. Not only will it provide different scenery, we will also be able to visit. Odd is a veterinarian working with the government. He comes back to the family farm on weekends to work with his horses.
I could talk about this beautiful place, with facilities that are well built and designed. I could talk about the breeze blowing through the open windows and the many birds that are singing in the background. But it is the kindness of the people that will linger long after the memories of the physical place fade away.