Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Buffetting : CM Day 4

Today was a much more chillax day compared to the days before. I went to the clinic early in the morning to prepare for the morning rounds in the elephants shelter with Dr Erica. Just the usual meds, like povidone scrub and flush; chlorohex scrub and flush. I finally took note of her meds box which usually have these stuffs in there:

1- Gloves
2- Gentadine violet spray
3- Swabs
4- Mg SO4 powder for antibacteriocidal purposes as dry treatment
5- Bactacin which is fluroxane cream
6- Antiparasitic powder negasunt
7- Syringes
8- KMnO4 powder as antibacteriocidal

A new batches of meds came in when Dr Katheryn from Arizona popped in, bringing in new meds like:
1- Endorumen tubes
2- Fluxinin Megluminr Powder as pain meds
3- Anaesthetic drugs
4- Catheter and needle jabs
5- Wonderdust which function like MgSO4

Some wonder why don't we administer pain meds much(antiinflammatory) on the elephants experiencing foot problem. I did myself, Dr Erica said that by doing that we take away the pain which is preventing the elephant from using it much; in return making the elephants to actually use more of the foot, making the healing process slower, or worsen the condition itself. Which pretty much make sense. Some elephants which shouldn't be moving around sometimes are still being brought about to move around, inflicting more stress on the foot, reducing the healing time and expose the foot more to pathogens which cause pus. If they are moving around, pain meds will be omitted. However, if they will be confined, Dr erica will consider pain meds since they aren't moving much anymore anyway.

We continued with daily treatment 2 more elephants with pus. i managed to get my hands on flushing the pus today; which was surprisingly hard because of the thick skin of the elephants as well as the areas which the pus actually hides. The elephants are usually with their mahouts so they are being controlled one way or another, when we work on them. So safety willl still be an issue, but much minimized when the mahouts are around. The general work on the elephants with pus problems will be flushing them with water, then povidone iodine until the pus is all out with clean iodine streams, and then injecting them will bacticin to minimize the pus formation on the next day.  

After the morning treatment the vet work is pretty free in the morning session. Since Dr Erica will be catching up on med records, she asked me to join the volunteer work instead. I joined after the team was done with poop scooping, so we went on sawing the banana trunks for the elephant snack. When we were done, whats next is after lunch so I headed for a nap.

Lunch was great, and we continued with kitchen work in the afternoon. Bananas are like staple food for the elephants so we unloaded, probably half a tonnes of bananas in to the kitchen? It was fun when everyone from different background screamed at the falling bananas when we failed the catch them well. After banana work, we proceeded to cleaning up the banks of the river from the feces and food crumbles like the leaves and all before we called it a day, for volunteers.

I proceeded to the elephant clinic and shelter at 3.30 in the afternoon for the afternoon treatment. We packed a lilttle in the clinic, while i was fascinated with the banana balls prepared. there were 2 types, one with heavily injected vitamin B balls, which are given to elephants which are weak. Since vit Bs are neurophysiologically helpful, the results were shown to be quite promising from the treatments before. Another red ones are the ones with mild vitamin B and supplements which are given to the other elephants just to support their growth well.

The elephant shelter treatment today was pretty much the same, though i managed to notice something wrong with Mae Lae Tong left hindfoot when I was trying to flush it with povidone iodine. It kept moving its foot up and down, and I couldn't get a clear shot. Dr Erica said that it might be an infection coming up so she add on some MGSO4 before we headed for another elephant's treatment.

We fixed 5 elephants' foot today, all of them with recurrent foot issues and they are treating twice a day anyway. After that, we helped Crissy to desensitize Fah Sae who is pretty jumpy since she is still new around, as well as Sim Pei.

I managed to hand feed another elephants, Boon Ma directly into her mouth, although we were told not to. She was really close to me while she used her trunk to kind of wave into her mouth, so I just abide. It was really fun and nice of her, because to me its a sign of trust. Not everyone actually wants someone else's hand in their mouth. I'm not too sure whether I was touching her tongue, it seemed like it, it wasn't as papillated as I thought it would be, In fact it was really tender like an inflated balloon. After finishing her feed, Dr Erica proceeded to desensitize Jam Paa with her leg and ear, which was pretty successful. Desensitizing ear, particularly will be useful in the future when she will be drawing blood or making ear swabs.

The day ended with that, while dinner was pretty cool. I should totally make a post on the people I met here. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Buffetting : CM Day 3

Day two I was greeted up by the loud trumpeting calls of the elephants. After breakfast, Jean one of the volunteers brought me to meet the volunteer vet and Thai resident vet; Erica and Dr P. I was pretty much sticking with Dr Erica throughout the day.

Sticking with a vet and learning the veterinary side of the ENP was a great insight. Following her around treating the elephants definitely allows me to have more access to the knowledge I seek.

What the vet does here is basically maintenance on the footwork, the skin and cuts, the eyes and sometimes the ears. The sad thing is the facility is not well equipped enough for an open surgery setting yet, though there wasn't any surgery to begin with anyway; apart from the buffaloes and dogs around the reserve.

We worked on several different elephants, mostly females while I had an extremely hard time remembering their names and which one they are. But, I guess I will learn throughout the week. There are a few things to know working around elephants pertaining the safety of both parties:

1)    differentiate the threat signals from them. Elephants wave their trunks, tails and head all the time. So it is normal. However, when threatened they usually spread their ears wide to make themselves look larger. During scouting they lift year trunk up like they seemed to investigate, usually just to send warnings to the threats around, and wouldn't be on full charge. If their ears are spred with curled trunks inwards, you are in for a full charge, and chasing May even occur.
2) go from their back, not front to different sides of their body. Try not to get too close between elephants if you are not familiar with the elephants at all.

There are a few interesting work Erica have performed on the elephants. One of them is the usual footwork and abscess cleaning. Footwork includes flushing them with clean water, brushing the mud and dirt off the foot to prevent dirt sticking between cracks or crevices, flushing with povidone iodine. Filings sometimes will be given to take away the dead cuticles around the nails, just deep enough to get the nails away and prevent dirt from sticking in them. Abscess cleaning includes flushing them with the povidone iodine, until there is no puss in the holes anymore, and then application of bacticin(antibiotic used in horses) into the abscess pit. It is not usually practiced, pumping bacticin a kind of antibacterial, but it aids in preventing the puss from solidifying in the scar. A thing to note is, allow abscess to open up by itself so the cleaning up would be easier.

Although it seemed like a small chunk, footwork plays the most important part in keeping the elephants healthy, as they travel a lot in a day. Some elephants with reoccurring problems with puss will require cleaning with either chlorohexidine or betadine(generic name for povidone iodine), scrub and flush of the same kind. Cross usage of each product will cancel off each other's effect. After flushing the wound is being sprayed with gentadine violet, an antiseptic. This so commonly done on elephants with bad legs and had past experience with landmines.

The most interesting part of today's trip was the positive reinforcement practice in the park for the elephants. Volunteers here do not believe in punishing the elephants for what they didn't do; instead they focus on rewarding for them to cooperate. That's what they called positive reinforcement. They do something positive, they are being reinforced with the rewards given. This method id particularly useful in future attempts to give treatment to the elephants, so no screaming or hooking will involve, instilling unnecessary stress on the elephants which will not promote healing anyway.

What is being done here in the positive reinforcement is that, the elephants will be isolated first in the training wall. A physical barrier between the animal and the handler will deem a much positive and safer environment for the training to proceed. Elephants are arguable the strongest animal on land, and one swing, either playful or threatening one will inflict substantial damage to handler. Before desensitizing the animal, adult or young, handlers should be training the elephants in the training wall or with a physical barrier. In the training wall, there are holes at the lower ends of the steel wars for the elephants to rest their legs when treatment is being attempted. While the handlers try to communicate with the elephants, they use long rods with bubble foam or sponge coats to slowly pat on the side or the leg in which they wish to have on the wall. As the elephants respond positively, they will reward them will chunks of fruits to reinforce those behaviors and cooperativeness. The handlers here, Crissy and Michelle are people will extremely good patience, big heart and are incredibly lovely to the elephants. They made the point to treat these elephants and train them like how they would train dogs, or even horses. Its really heartwarming to see them treating the elephants so gently, with full respect and care for the elephants which are really gentle in nature. What Erica does here is to time those sessions, on how long the elephants keep their legs up in a span of time; gradually increasing them every two days to desensitize the elephants towards the reinforcement.

The end of the day we completed the day with treating the few elephants which require footwork twice a day. I managed to only remember Mae Lae Tong now because of her leg with a badly blown off scar from the landmine. The usual work will be scrubbing with povidone and flushing them; putting antibiotics if needed. Later on we went on to aid crissy and michelle desensitizing the baby elephants with 1.5 yrs, 1 yrs old and 8 months old. (Nevann, Yindee and Dek Mai).

The vet work ended at 5, while I enjoyed a cultural night after dinner with Jean, Can and Tork, The night was a little hard without the power, but i slept much better than the night before because i know how to work around the mosquito net now.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Buffetting : CM Day 2

The drive to camp, was as awful as any drives if had before in Chiang Mai, but the fresh air in the camp on the instance I got off the car was energizing.

Tork , our tour guide, ranger, whatever you call him showed us around on the basic locations we will be moving about in the camp including the dog and cat shelters, the meeting quarters, the dining quarters, the viewing bays and platforms, as well as the gift shop.

The first trio we encountered was Yindee, his aunt Mae Lae Tong, and the mom Si Pei

To be honest I have no idea how to differentiate each of them, maybe a longer stay will change that. T

Next up we went for lunch in the dining area with full vegetarian buffet.the food was just homey, maybe a little tinge of northern Thailand taste.

The weird phenomenon I noticed in the weekly volunteer program is, I'm the freakin only non Thai Asian here!! There are people from London, Perth, Michigan and heck, Barcelona but I'm the only sepet from Kuala Lumpur.

It took toll a little on me when there were these girls from London and Manchester talking with me stuck in the middle. I got lost when they started talking about their traveling routes in west coast of America.

 I broke the awkward moment getting myself a 200 baht cap when I started to get really stucked in between.

After lunch was documentary on the dark ends of elephant tourism, which gave me some questions on the differences end have with the other training camps out there

1- the ceremony to break the elephants down,paja, how will it fare when it comes to the traditionalists out there?
2-caring with love is one thing after another, but the restrain in chain part, how do you go about in treating those elephants needing it?
3- mahout training and elephant riding, how do you see it? Permissible if not hurting the elephants in general!
4- human intervention as it is. If the best thing is to send the elephants back into the wild, we are also intervening right now putting them into sanctuaries. What about those owning them personally? Will you see this as loopholes instead?

Picking up my room was a little intense, because there were 10 times more ladies than guys in this week, Pete knows why. In the end I got a room, all to myself *floats in air *

Just to realize, heck a roommate would be so much fun than being aimless looking for a table during the meal hours. Bummer

Anyways, the afternoon we get to bath the elephant, it was fun and intense; fun because you get to splash everyone else and the elephant, intense because you get to be so close to the elephants.

We wrapped up , showered and headed back to the dinning area for a blessing ceremony before our dinner. It was like how monks blessed me back during weasel, just that it's the village elderly ones doing this here instead of the monks.

I ended the night with a hard time to sleep, with scratches and boils all over my calves the next morning. It was a good Monday, looking forward to Tuesday.

The nice thing happened today w
as meeting with the Millards. Susan the mom was really nice, and I have to say she and her husband, Bill did a bang up job raising Nathaniel into a fine young man.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Buffetting : CM Day 1

Today has been arguably one of the craziest day in my life walking around.

I walked from the airport to my guest house, taking about 30 minutes to 45 minutes; excluding the gps navigation problems.

I walked from my guest house to the office of the camp, which was non existence in the original address on the website, hence another trip.

I walked from the non-existence office to the existence office of the camp, only to know it was closed although it was stated operating from Monday to Sunday. Anyhow, I got to know the location, and I will definitely need a songthaew for it tomorrow morning.

I walked back to the old town, trying to get the decent massage parlor. To my surprise, I found an old uncle who had great skills in traditional Thai massage to relief all my sores from all the walking around. 300 bahts was worth the price, because the ladies in the usual parlors wouldn't be able to pull of his strength. Great chat with him, though my Thai really needs more brush up.

I walked around the Sunday street market, snapped several pictures but only to realize I don't want to eat anything adventurous before my camp. It's dangerous to be adventurous, at least for now. Maybe when T is around to bring me.

I walked back to my guest house again, with several bumps into different routes because my gps decides to pull tricks on me.

I'm pretty sure I pulled off at least 20Km today by walking around aimlessly with a weirdly functioning gps in my phone. The sun burn, needless to say is crazy.

I did start off my day good though; bumping into my favorite lecturer while he is rushing off to UMK for lectures I presume; great flight with good looking flight attendants; great touchdown with little time spent on looking for the guesthouse.

The rest after that, prolly is an experience I wanted to have. Looking at Chiang Mai walking around by foot is definitely different.

On the side note, T is with the family in T's practical site. The guilt is kicking back, and I can't help to feel, neglected.

Gosh its the first day and we have yet to meet, I really shouldn't be depressed.

At any rate, this trip should be all about me, not T.

Looking forward to tomorrow's trip!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Buffetting : It's Time

The long wait till April from last November has arrived.

In less than 10 hours I will be flying to The Rose of Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai again.

Fell in love, literally in Chiang Mai; and T the first time I when there, will it charm me all over again this trip?

1- Learn more about elephant management. Hopefully land some networks so my next trip or final year project might be something about the magnificent being

2- Learn more about Chiang Mai. I have one whole day in Chiang Mai before I begin my practical in ENP; I ought to have a free exploration around with the time I have. More temples to venture, more places and more pictures; solo this time

3- Learn more about myself. I wish to know more on what I really see in life. My future; in career, in relationships, in networks, in possible expatriate destinations. Do I see myself in what I see right now; in 5 years' time?

4- Learn more, definitely about T. How would T react in stuffs? Which side T would pick in the cinema? Is T more dominant or I am in this relationship? What T really likes? How T's dorm look like? Where T would go usually for everything or anything? Most importantly, is T really the One I have been looking for?

1- The practical doesn't go as fantastic, which is highly impossible unless I got smacked down by an elephant in musth.

2- Chiang Mai got raided, which is highly impossible seeing how the government protects it as a tourist spot

3- The plane got hijacked like MH370. Paranoid much?

4- T and I do not look eye an eye in what we are sharing. Possibly my worse paranoid right now.

People have been telling me I deserve T as much as T deserves me, but I just never felt good enough to match the level T has.

Maybe I'm just not that prepared for this relationship to begin with, considering the nature and timing of its conception.

I'm not earning yet, like financial independent. It makes being with another person still, a little intimidating.

I feel like I'm not ready physically, literally. I'm not in my good form to actually be able to attract anyone, let alone T who is pretty much in the wanted list I would say for most people. T has yet to tell me the truth yet, so maybe I will bag it when I'm in the dorm

I'm not ready emotionally, for the ups and downs of this relationship; for it being my first love. I had tough time pulling the stickiness and heated-love period; while T totally just smoked off a few months after I said yes.

So it is time. For me to take another bolder step.

I found this post on "LDRs are for the psychos". It's in Mandarin, but if you are really interested and wish to have it translated; so comment XD

Well, for my first relationship, I think I'm TOO bold. Heck, it wasn't T's first relationship.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Buffetting : Proud

T got back from a camp where many pre-vet students were involved.

The posts flooding T's social media profile shows how much T is being loved as a person, and how genuine T treat the people around.

The smile in the pictures, the wishes, how the younger students called T "Pii-t"(Pii is the pre-fix added to names when younger people call their older counterparts) in the posts; I have never felt so proud of another person before.

I never exactly feel as proud as my younger sis beat the others in her tournament and holding her cup; simply because I am never directly involved in her growth as a player.
even nature loves T as it is.

But somehow, knowing T is such a delightful person to be with makes me quite proud inside.

It strengthens my trust for T, knowing that spending a future and building it with T is truly, remarkable.

However, me on the other hand has a complexity issue; for I forever feel like I'm never good enough for T.

Super Low Self Esteem, much?

Monday, March 31, 2014

Buffetting : Prepared?

T went for a camp for 5 days, no signals, no connection.

I did my daily ritual in sending in goodnight wishes, even just now; just to be the nice boyfriend and all.

I wonder if T is ready and thrilled for me to go over in a week's time.

I'm thrilled, to learn so much more about the elephants in the practical, and T as well.

We only have 2 and a half days, I'm not even sure if T still remembers that I'm coming going over.

Were there plans? What are we going to do in Songkran? Will we crash into the dorm of T's in all soaked and laughing about crazy stuffs we did?

Really I have no idea.

I guess being in a relationship is something still very novel to me. I would know how to react with a Malaysian lover, but T is definitely a challenge.

I am a planner, logic person. I need to know how to react; although I'm very good in impromptu, a different cultural background will definitely cost me some brain juices.

And there's another stuff ringing behind my head about the big S thing. After my sister's fiasco it feels like I'm pretty docile to dabble around there now; yet we only meet once in a blue moon, should we not take advantage of that?

Wait, we are just starting? Hmm, I don't know.

Its a very subtle line to string. We do talk about our graduations and our participation in each others' day; but I don't feel like planning ahead of our "future" like all other couples do anymore.

It's tiring, and T doesn't really respond well to this.

I should totally let T take the lead this time, let the proud Leo be tame for this once. Maybe I can go wild when T comes over in the future.

Can't wait to meet T again. The voice, the breathe, the smile; its definitely worth the trip.

On the side note:

Monkey and I paid a visit to 100 Doraemon's Expo last weekend. It was okay, I totally made a wise choice getting him because we had our common interest in this sense. Catching up was really fun, although he barely change. 

He's next in line to Best bud, to some extent some even asked if he's my significant other. Lol. We are close buds, but not that kind of sense.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Buffetting : Downer

It has been a crazy weekend.

More like a crazy Sunday.

2 hours before I stepped into the field in the stadium for the cheerleading stunt, I got a message from my sister.

Apparently I will be an uncle soon.

It was something really shocking, even for me; though my siblings thought I handled the whole situation much unexpectedly calm, for me being the drama queen and all.

Flash wedding, expected labor date in late June, tsunami in the home; I'm just glad everything didn't go on berserk mode when I went back home yesterday.

On the other hand, T has been sending me ambiguous messages and unanswered messages as well.

That morning when I got the news from my sis, I dropped T a message:

"If you have 5 minutes to post a photo, you have 5 minutes to just explain to me what is going on,"
the picture that ticked me off

More sorry messages came in, I'd swear I was going to breakdown on some point, thinking that its THE SIGN.

Especially when this dropped in:

"I'm sorry. I have something a message for you in summer."

It seemed to be the ultimate sign to me.

But towards the end of the day, it turned out to be just my misunderstand.

I should have changed the English into Thai mode.

"I cannot talk to you." in English mean so different in Thai; which means "I am unable to talk to you."

T is busy with a camp, so T felt bad for not being able to spend time with me.

I'm perfectly fine with that; though a simple goodnight everyday would suffice.

So two dramas ended well in one night; no blood spilled or no hearts broken, maybe just my mom because she felt she got betrayed by my sister a little.

I guess I have to be stronger, after all I'm the eldest son in the family.

PS: My lecturer actually whack me in my butt when I got fickle minded in answering the number of bacteria colonies in my agar plate. How kinky in that!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Buffetting : Close Friends

Did you realize that in the social network there's this button on the "friend" part for you to select friends as "Close friends" instead but just "Acquaintance"?

Back when I first came back to vetschool, I kind of selected a few as them; and that includes the 2nd chances, both of them.

I feel like, there's this part of their lives which I wish to follow more on; given the time that I am able to spend with them.

It feels like my time to spend with the people I love most right now is being limited, but the consequences of my own family.

Great, now another rant episode. This is why I can never move on, because the effect of that fiasco is just long-lasting. At least till vet school ends.

Anyhow, its like T all over again; I don't get to spend enough time with them.

So and so, till today I'd realized those follows as "Close friends" seemed to be, meaningless to me right now. After the 2nd chances got back together, I somehow don't bother to follow them anymore; not even as close friends. It might just be my subconscious working, know that both of them have each other that I no longer need to bother if they would need someone to get them something, get them to lunch, get them this or that, etc; they would settle it themselves.

The 'Close friend' button now on the social media would be, meaningless right now, no?

There are a few more in the list, I am tempting to unclick them; simply because it doesn't mean anything anymore right now.

Why would the social media create such button at the first place anyway? It's taking toll on my conscious right now. *bang wall*
you know you are a friend close enough, when his mom thinks you are another son, and when underwear hangs around even closer than your own brother. PS: Remember this soul-searching trip best bud?

Best bud is in the list, but he seldom post stuffs on the social media anyways. Catching up is being done in other medium.

I understand that the original batch is still willing to spend quality time with me without qualms, but at these times somehow I just feel like, it is only matter of time till the lecture hours do us apart.

Attached, much?

PS: Anatomy test tomorrow gosh, please save my meninges!

PPS: Things have been mundane with T. I guess we are both busy with our lives right now; till we crash in April.

PPPS: I feel like my roommate is being a little weird, trying to post stuffs on his blog, but trying even harder to tell the world he is doing it. Geez, posting in blogs seemed to be like a competition in our room.

Nevertheless, I'm definitely beyond that level to think its a competition. *pat chest*

Monday, March 17, 2014

Buffetting : Virgin

Today I was struck by a question from a fellow coursemate, international.

"Can I ask you a personal question? Are you still a virgin?"

The first thing hit me was, "Which part of me doesn't look like a virgin?"

What I was told is that I don't act like a virgin boy.

In fact I sometimes act too , un-virgin-like(so to speak), among the pool of dudes I'm around with my words ie:
escape room was fun, if we had just gotten the hint earlier.

"When I was putting on the gloves and I said it was tight, you were like: Oo, TIGHT; but I didn't mean anything AT ALL."

I guess mingling around with people who steer a little here and there with those dirty and flirtatious words kind of give off these vibes.

Oh well, it sure is something new. I DO enjoy comments of people have on me, their thoughts, impressions or what not because its like a counter-check mechanism.

There are always room for improvement.

On the side note, I've finally played a game for my year under the faculty sports event; though our year lost thoroughly. It's okay, its pretty much obvious that we are much of a brain drainer than the sporty batch.

BUT, we are going to take down everyone in the tug-o-war for sure!


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