Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New Homestay - and Ele Owner Gives Away his Elephant

A new homestay opened up in Huay Pakoot in Sept, with some very exciting news! Sumchai, the current owner of Mana and Bpee Mai, approached GVI in August about opening up a homestay. He is passing ownership of Mana and Bpee Mai directly to their mahouts, Boon Chew and Re Rah. This is a great step forward for the project because it supports an elephant owner who is moving away from depending on his elephant for income, and is helping find an alternative livelihood by means of providing lodging and meals to visitors in the community.
The new homestay is located near the shop close to the bottom of the village whch volunteers have named bottom shop. Sumchai and his family have built a small hut out of bamboo with a leaf roof and a new private bathroom 10 meters from the hut. Jenn, an 8 week volunteer from the UK, has graciously volunteered to be the first member of GVI to live in the new homestay and so far she is enjoying her own private bamboo hut and porch with a great view over part of the village. Last night for the first dinner at this new homestay, we enjoyed a meal of eggplants and tofu stir fry, a mushroom and pepper dish, and a delicious sweet gooey coconut desert. So far so good and GVI is excited to open up this new homestay because we now have 7 homestays spread throughout the community.