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One Week in India

Freshly home from about 11 days of travel, including a few days in London before one full week in India.

The India portion of my trip was to visit my organization’s (the International Fund for Animal Welfare, IFAW) wildlife rescue and rehabilitation project in Assam and Kaziranga National Park. Absolutely incredible stuff, face-to-face with baby elephants and rhinos (and leopards!) who will soon grown strong and confident enough to be released back into the wild. Other than bottle feeding, human contact and voices are at a minimum around these magnificent creatures. The center is not open to the public.

If you’re traveling to India, Thailand, Vietnam and other popular Asian destinations, PLEASE dedicate some time to finding the right place to see elephants and exotic animals. Use of words like “sanctuary” and “rescue” are almost always untrue, and the cruelty behind-the-scenes is astounding. Make sure there are no rides, hands-on interaction or selfie photo-ops offered on the website before you visit.

dilli haat market in delhi indiaAs we moved toward the city of Delhi for continued strategy meetings, I loved the chances to sneak out for visits to a couple of local markets and the stunning Hindu house of worship called Akshardham.

Textiles such as scarves and blankets were my favorite to indulge in. While the majority of our travels showed extreme poverty, there is still a vibrancy to the Indian culture at every turn. Laundry drying on the highway guardrails, women crouched in the tea fields, children begging on the streets – all in beautiful prints and colors.

dilli haat market in delhi indiaOur meetings included more than 30 colleagues from all around the world: Australia, the Netherlands, France, China, Germany, Kenya, Russia, South Africa, Canada, the UK, Mexico, India and the U.S. I’m filled with inspiration and a boat-load of new ideas for the year ahead!

dilli haat market in delhi india

It’s such an honor to be able to travel the world with my camera, and to share images and experiences from these cultures. Don’t forget to join me on Instagram at @staceyhedman!

AKSHARDHAM

courtesy of akshardham.com

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