Baboon Banaza

by Caroline Niebauer

The beginning of the Banaza

Baboons, giraffes, zebras, and elephants what do all these animals have in common?  They all can be found in the Lale Manyara National Park famous for its tree climbing lions which we sadly did not see.  We saw many other amazing animals like as mentioned before but I’ll be focusing on 3 the of them. Baboons, giraffes and elephants.

First baboons, we saw 100s of these interesting creatures and they are cool for many reasons but here are just a few fun facts about baboons. First they do not have hair on their butts and they are some of the worlds largest monkeys and they can grow from 27-30 inches tall (60-86 cm) and their tails can reach from 16 to 23 inches, that’s more than 50 inches in total and they can weigh about as much as a human child!

the kids next to a termite mound

Next are giraffes, these tall creatures are very graceful despite their long legs and necks. We saw many of these at all the parks but we saw the biggest tower (group of giraffes) here. Giraffes are the tallest land mammal on earth and their legs can be more than 6 feet tall. Some other interesting facts about  these tall creatures is their tongue is a foot long and purple! Lions usually don’t go near them because if they feel threatened they will kick said lion and one kick can kill the lion.

giraffes in the wild

Lastly I will be focusing on elephants, they are the largest land animal on earth. Some interesting facts about these animals is that they are targeted by many poachers because of their ivory tusks. Interestingly the way to tell African and Asian elephants apart is that African elephants ears are shaped like Africa and the adult African elephants are typically larger.

To conclude safari was very fun and I am very happy to have had to had this experience and to have seen all the animals.

Chocolate Making Class

When we were in Antigua, Guatemala we went to a chocolate making class after school.  When it started we all got aprons on and walked into a room that had things that help make chocolate. Our guide thought us about how ancient Mayans made chocolate and the difference between cocoa and cacao.  Cacao is the paste made by crushing fermented roasted, shelled cacao beans and is what is considered real chocolate.  Cocoa powder is when the cocoa butter has been removed from the cacao and our guide told us this makes a chocolate flavored bar only.  Once he finished telling the process of making chocolate (harvest, ferment, dry, roast, peel, grind,) he told us that most popular white chocolate brands make fake white chocolate with different products like palm oil and shay butter instead of cocoa butter.  After we went back to the table and we made chocolate bars with lots of toppings like sea salt and shredded coconut when we finished our guide put them in the freezer.  Then we made three chocolate drinks. The first was ground up cocoa beans, we added honey, chili powder, ground corn and hot water. The second one was cacao bean shell tea with cacao bean shells, hot water and sugar. and the last one was fancy hot chocolate it was made with milk, cacao and cinnamon.   My favorite was the third one drink.  Then we got our 70% cacao chocolate bars back and it was so good.

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Elephants are the best

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Welcome. This blog post will be about elephants. Elephants are very large animals from the elephantidae family. As most of you know, we are in Asia, and we went to an elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai.

Also, did you know there are three types of elephants? They are the Asian elephant, the African elephant, and the African forest elephant. Elephants eat grasses, bark, stems, sugar cane, bananas, and watermelon. They have to stay near water because they need to drink at least once a day. Elephants have 100,000 different muscles in their trunk, and they have a finger-like feature at the end of their trunk to grab things. We saw this when we fed them.

We had a lot of fun at the elephant sanctuary. It was called Elephant Nature Park. We had a nice tour guide named Ya. First we went on a van ride. It was very long. After we got there we got to feed the elephants bananas, squash, and watermelon.  I felt sad because the elephants weren’t coming to me. Eventually the baby elephant came to me, and it was very cute. Later we went on a walk to see more elephants. Then we went to have lunch. We went to the CAT KINGDOM. It was so fun and the cats were so cute.  Then we went to see baby elephants. They were very naughty because they started chasing people around, and they weren’t supposed to. Then the long ride home and we all slept.

Elephant Nature Park helps elephants. They rescue elephants from being abused by humans who use them to do shows, or to ride them, or in the logging industry. Some of their elephants stepped on land mines and they got hurt. The most important thing to know is NO RIDING the elephants because people hurt them to train them.

It is good that there are places like this to save the elephants that have been abused or hurt. It is nice, and if you are in Chiang Mai, you should go!