After an inspiring and productive time in Sri Lanka this winter, I’ve returned to Thailand for a time to dig back into our Humane Tourism campaign, exchanging rupees for baht, curry and rice for rice and curry, and big snakes for big spiders.
What remains consistent in both countries is the tremendous amount of elephants in need and the equally tremendous momentum that comes when organizations work together, uniting for the common good of captive and wild elephants alike.
Although every person we work with brings a connecting piece to the complicated puzzle of crafting sustainable and compassionate change across cultures, we’d like to give a huge shout-out of deeps thanks to a few of the extraordinary people we share the journey with in Sri Lanka:
*Sujeewa Jasinghe and Sudarshani Fernando, our truly wise, wonderful, and generous friends at CES;
*Tamsin Webb of the Millennium Elephant Foundation, who works tirelessly to change the minds of tourists and mahouts alike while still making time to talk to every visitor about the big picture of “2 Million Letters for Ganga”;
*The SLWCS Field team— to Supun C Herath Herat, Sarath Kumara and Indika Sampath for how you translate everything (and how you drive a LandRover); and to Chathuranga Dharmarathne, Chinthaka Weerasinghe and Chandima Fernando, for how you see the world through the eyes of wild elephants, and help me see it too.
Working alongside people like you, I know that elephants—captive, wild, and yet to be born—actually have a chance to simply be elephants.