Upon my arrival in Tennessee, the temperature, humidity level, vegetation, forests and even the rainfall caused me to question if my flight from Thailand had even left the country. The similarities between the places I visited in Asia and the home of the elephants I helped rescue is striking. It’s like a mirror image.
I am back, for how long I can’t yet say. There are numerous opportunities that I must consider and many projects to participate in.
But first I must thank each of you who helped to make this trip to Asia possible. It was another instance where I had to close my eyes and take a leap of faith!
Being unemployed and having no funding for the trip made the idea of it seem impossible. Even though I am a seriously thrifty person, one can only stretch minimal funds so far. When I considered what I wanted to do — learn firsthand how elephants live and are cared for in Asia — I knew what I must do. I believed that the support would come and of course it did.
Not from The Elephant Sanctuary or other sources that you might expect. The funding came in the form of in-kind support from people who authentically care about elephant welfare: a room, food, a car and driver to my next destination. Even my camera and computer were provided days before I left for the trip; essential tools to document the elephants and their environments.
I am eternally grateful for these gifts, your monetary donations to International Elephant Aid, and your moral support. Doors were opened and introductions made that have already created a ripple of change for Asia’s elephants.
A huge thank you goes to Christy, Suparna, Varma, Dr. Sarma, Dr. Mikota, Lek, Katherine and all the others who arranged for me to see hundreds of Asia’s elephants in the wild, government camps and temples and under private ownership. I believed that the support to explore the needs of Asia’s elephants would materialize and it did.
Thank you for helping to make it happen,