Yesterday we went to The Elephant PooPoo Park!!!
It was super fun. The Elephant PooPoo Park is a place that is eco-friendly and wanted to recycle something. The owners decided to make paper out of elephant poo!!!! I sounds gross, but it was awesome. We had a nice guide that walked us through the park. She explained that the park gives bananas, sugar cane, and more food to the elephant rescue program in exchange for lots of elephant poop. Elephant is the most common poo, but they also had accumulated small portions of horses and cow poo. We got to touch it and smell it at the poo fiber hut.
The cow poo smelled like buttery corn and the elephant poo felt like hay. The park looked like the elephants had walked through it, becuase elephant poo piles were spread on the pathways. They said not to worry though, because the poo had already been dried, so it was clean. We washed our hands after anyways.
They actually make the paper outside right at the park, so the next place she took us to see was the cleaning and boiling shed. They scoop the poop into a pre-cleaning drums, and then into a cleaning drum. After they let it soak for 2 to 3 hours, until the sediments fell to the bottom, they move it into big pots filled with water and heated with wood fires. The workers mix the poo with big spoons that look like paddles. When we got to try I thought it looked like moss or algae in swampy, brown water.
After they finish the cleaning and boiling, it’s clean, and gets moved to a mill machine, where they turn it into a pulp and dye it different colors such as blue, red, purple, yellow, etc. When the pulp is of the right consistency, they scoop it into specifically sized balls. Balls of colored elephant poop!!!! How great is that?
Well , it’s pretty great, but it’s not paper yet. As the tour moved on our guide took us to the screening process, and we got to do it twice! The colors we got to choose from were yellow, red and purple. The first time I chose red. We had to pick up the correct color poo ball, without gloves, and it was cold! Then you dipped a giant screen in the water and layed a pooball on top of it, I used my fingers to pull in apart. Then you and your helper use your fingers to smooth out the clumps. It felt like wet toilet paper. After that step, you patted your hands on the top to spread it out. I did it the second time with purple.
You then picked the screen from the water, and I got splashed. They screen was then set to dry on bamboo rods, with all the other paper.
The park makes 100 big papers a day. We then got to peel off a dry piece. The orange piece had a huge bug on it, but we blew it off. Of course the twins still didn’t want it, so I took it. It fells really sturdy after you pull it off.
It all went by too fast, and we took pictures with drying papers.
We ran up to the next building, and got creative. We got to pick an elephant poo product to decorate! The twins each picked a journal, but everyone knows I have enough of those, so I made a passport holder. I probably won’t use it to hold my passport though. I decorated it with cutouts that were made of poo paper. Mine had my name, different color hearts, a huge elepant, and a humming bird. The inside had flowers, more elephants, and more hearts. But the back might be the best. I used different shapes in different shades of brown to make a pile of poo! It even had fumes coming from it. It was the last thing to do, besides the gift shop, so that’s where we headed. I bought a scratch pad that had a recycle sign. It reads, Made With Real POO! We all climbed into the taxi, and thought about how great of a day it was.