We were picked up from the house at 10am and brought to the conservation center of Chiang Mai. There we have some interviews to film with officials in the elephant preservation department. I think it is pretty cool that they have a whole department just dedicated to that. My job for the day was to set up lighting. I was able to do it pretty quickly, thanks to the lighting class I took with Chase last year. The interview we shot today took a few hours, but it was fascinating to listen to the man talk about all the efforts Thailand puts into saving these beautiful creatures. While many of the elephants are native to the area, quite a few have been rescued from neighboring countries that overlook the abuse circuses, zoos, logging camps, ivory hunters, etc inflict upon them. The process to save an elephant is quite expensive and time consuming, but many people here have dedicated their lives solely to that cause. And the Thai people support the cause because they believe the elephant is the most sacred animal of Buddha. The way the conservationist put it was, "Of all the footprints on this earth, that of the elephant is supreme."
After the first interview was done, Carl (the director) took everyone out to lunch. All we could talk about was the interview and some of the stories we had heard.
There are elephant statues everywhere, but I saw this unique one walking home from dinner tonight. Made me think of aunt Heidi : )