Being able to connect with a gentle giant that is part of the animal kingdom is got to be the most amazing experience ever.
(theme song begins) I'm off to see the world It's a beautiful day You only get one life Don't let it slip away Let's take the world There's so much to discover We'll hang on to each other Let's risk it all Darling take my hand We'll make a change of plans What we don't know now We'll find out when we get there It's all part of the adventure (theme song ends) (Me Ra) Wow.
(Brian) Today was a pretty special day for us.
Me Ra was super excited to come here and I was excited to see elephants.
I mean who in their right mind is not going to be excited to see something like an elephant? I know Me Ra woke up this morning going, oh, this is just one of the things she's been most excited about.
and she's like, “You know in another life maybe I would have been an elephant mahout myself.
” (Me Ra) Totally.
(Brian) But, um, I just was not prepared for what a great experience this was going to be, Me Ra.
(Pascaline) We were just feeding this elephant sugarcane and we got to give him the long bars of sugarcane and he holds on to it with his snout and puts it up through his mouth.
So, it was really cool to see like how he uses his trunk as a second hand.
and, like, feed himself by just using the trunk and winding it up, and getting a grip and then putting it in his mouth and eating it.
There's a snake next to you Mr.
(lady) She is 20 years old.
He is 29.
He have her when he was 9 years old.
(Me Ra) Oh, really!? (Brian) Wow! (Me Ra) You were put together when you were 9? (Me Ra) Wow! I'm really, really moved by how a mahout is not just an elephant trainer.
They are someone who bonds to their elephant for 30, 40 years and that this is a way of life for them.
It's an art form for them.
They see it as a spiritual connection.
and to be able to be up close with the family to experience this and not just.
you know, we didn't even ride on their backs And at first, you know, the kids we were all like, “Oh, we're not going to ride the elephants?” But they were like “Wait, wait.
Why don't you experience these elephants? Why don't you experience the magic of being around them and their spirit?” (music) This is the best day of my life Kicking along with you by my side It's alright to let it write This is the best day of my life (Me Ra) This is way more intimate than than riding on them could ever be.
this gets in to me.
It gets my spirit thinking.
It gets my family thinking about what does it mean to respect animals in the animal kingdom and really take in what they represent and what they have to give to us.
(music) This is the best day of my life Got nothing to fear, nothing to hide The arms of time are open wide This is the best day of my life (Me Ra) Watching the mahout and the elephant was almost like watching this dance between the two of them.
and they really respect each other.
And there's no, like, harsh language.
There's no whipping.
There's no poking.
Sometimes the mahout would say something so soft and the elephant would just, like, respond.
Just turn on a dime.
This huge beast in the middle of the jungle, just turn around because he feels connected to his mahout.
The elephant and the two of them are really like one almost.
And how powerful is that? It just.
it speaks to marriage.
It speaks to.
(Brian) It is.
It's a partnership.
Right, Me Ra? What they have is a partnership that they need each other.
(Me Ra) They feel empty when they're apart from each other How many of the mahouts said that to us? That when they're not with their elephant, they feel like something major is missing from them.
(Brian) The ones that they sometimes fight, and they have to make up, he has to make up with his elephant just like I would with my wife by bringing it some sweets or some tenderness, some love That's awesome.
(Me Ra) It's so awesome.
(Brian) Oh my goodness.
Who would have imagined? (Me Ra) Yeah.
(Blaze) How do you know if an elephant is healthy? [translator is speaking] (translator) He said uh normally it is easy to see how they are healthy because normally if you carry them all the time you will know how they are healthy.
(Brian) A lot of people from America and Europe come and what do you think we could learn from the elephants? [translator speaking] (translator) It, uh.
how do you say.
Make you connected with another thing.
Yeah, a connection with another life.
(Brian) Yes, compassion.
(translator) Yeah, if you spend time more with the elephant.
(Brian) We'd learn compassion from the elephants.
That's pretty amazing.
I see this, like, ginormous beast and to think what I'd learn from it is compassion.
Right after you mom tells you to smile for the camera for the pictures.
when you're walking up a long path in the heat of the day, and she just keeps telling you to smile for pictures, and then finally you get to scrub an elephant with her.
That's the time to get payback.
(Me Ra) What are you doing? You.
I think you wanna say something else.
[laughing] (Pascaline) Sometimes instead of riding an animal, you want to interact with an animal.
When I, when we first came to Thailand We just rode the elephant and that was the end of it.
But today, we're coming here we've got to walk with elephants We've got to see what they eat, why they act the way they do.
What makes them happy.
What makes them sad.
Stuff like that.
And so I'm here right now, scrubbing this elephant cleaning him down and I think it's just a better experience to interact with the animal.
See where they're coming from.
See what they're like instead of just riding it.
(Me Ra) She's like.
(Blaze) What?! Oh gosh.
Look! (man) Yes, that's some fresh elephant dootie.
(Blaze) Look! (Me Ra) I know.
(Me Ra) It's part of what they do.
(Brian) I was just really blown away by how amazing my experience was.
These elephants, I mean, they've helped Thai people build their country by pulling heavy things, and they've used them to help protect their country from outside invaders.
but what really blew me away today with the elephants was how gentle they were.
I mean, they're just.
they're big next to me! The biggest animal I've ever stood that close to.
(Me Ra) And then when our mahout said that that his elephant, that he's been with for 30 years has taught him the gift of compassion.
That made me wanna cry.
(Brian) When we were there putting our hands, remember we put our hands on the elephant's face and I remember just how solid her face was.
I could feel the compassion.
I could feel it.
I got it.
(Me Ra) If you can do the tourism experience of an elephant that is beyond just sitting on them and riding on them the reward is so much deeper.
To be able to walk alongside the elephant and just observe its patterns, it's behavior to sit in the shade with it, to pet it, to be this close to it, is just life changing.
(Blaze) Thanks everyone for watching, and if you enjoyed this video make sure you touch that “like” button subscribe if you're new and ring the bell to get notifications when we post new videos.
And every Thursday we'll be posting a video, so I can't wait to see you then.