Who would think of making paper from dung? Where did the idea come from? These are two of our most frequently asked questions and we hope to entertain you with our answers.
The whole reason why we are working hard to save the elephants. With all of us helping this will continue to be a sight in Thailand – Mother and Baby.
The man behind the paper is Mr. Wanchai. On his way home from work he used to pass a natural paper factory and was impressed at the simplicity of the process that used natural tree fibers to make high quality hand made paper. He then took a trip to the Thai Elephant Conservation Center in Lampang Northern Thailand and saw piles and piles of dung. He looked at the dung and noticed that the dung was very fibrous. This was the birth of the idea.
The next step was to take home a carload of dung to his house. His wife was amused and at this stage very patient. Try as he could he could not get the paper just write. He used the family food processor to cut the long fibers to a shorter length – his wife finally lost her patience. Not only was he bringing home dung but using the food processor was one step too far. She gave him the ultimatum…. She gave him two choices. The first was to stop bringing home dung and concentrate on his job. The second was to make the dung paper full time.
This picture taken in Bangkok shows the plight of the Thai elephant.
photo taken from http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/urbanelephant/haven.htmlEITHER WAY SHE WANTED A NEW FOOD PROCESSOR!!
The famous food processorMr. Wanchai still has the old food processor as a reminder and lesson to him and his children that – in life many people may think you are mad or crazy but if you have the courage to try and try then you will succeed.If he had listened to the laughs then he would not be able to help the many elephants he now does.Mr. Wanchai is philosophical about his journey “Thai elephants have helped many generations of Thais and they continue to provide many jobs for the ordinary people like me. It might be just plain dung to most but to me every time a ball drops it is another opportunity to help them – one man’s or elephant’s trash is another’s treasure – where there is muck there is money’.With sincerity he jokes, “ Without my family this idea would never have got off the ground – because that’s where it comes from”.
A blissful sight – a mother and baby – how they should be