I am sitting on my duffel bag, back up against a pillar, facing the platform in the Dehradun train station. So far the activity resembles any high traffic transport area but it mostly reminds me of Grand Central station in New York City. A variety of messages are broadcast over the loud speaker system nonstop. Not only are arriving and departing trains announced, travelers are also advised, “To the kind attention of passengers, please do not accept packages from strangers as they might contain intoxicants.”
This will be my first train ride in India and the last of my adventures here…for now.
My train will travel overnight to Delhi, then I will fly to Bangkok. This will be my last full day in India. It has been a whirlwind trip.
My exposure to the different situations for captive and wild elephants has been extensive. I look forward to a few days off to collect and record my thoughts, organize my photos as well as the information that I have gathered. There was so much to see, so many elephants to observe. I know much will come of this trip.
I cannot thank my colleagues enough for organizing everything to ensure my time was spent observing the elephants of India and their management. Without a doubt the trip could not have been more fruitful and jam packed. The success of my trip is thanks to Christy Williams, Dr. K.K. Sarma, Suparna Ganguly of CUPA and Surendra Varma. I look forward to the many collaborations that will follow.