We’ve just weathered the most ferocious lightning, thunder, wind and rain storm either of us have ever witnessed. This thing put the worst Ontario summer storm to shame. The mayhem started a bit before 5am. I woke to the beginning of a roll of thunder that lasted an hour. Sheet and forked lightning strobed the sky in continuous brilliant flashes. The wind trashed branches, dashing some to the ground. Rain was driven into our open windows and Michel woke to getting soaked. The power was out so we bumbled around in the dark pulling windows shut against the howling wind and driving rain. I had some laundry outside on the deck and retrieved it as it became airborne. Once we had the hatches battened down, we climbed back into our beds to watch and listen to the show. An elephant trumpeted either in celebration or fear. The drumming of rain on the roof and the grumbling thunder drowned out most other sounds. When we got up, as the storm abated, at 6am we discovered one of the resort’s dogs cowering under our outside couch. The dog was soaked and seemed grateful for kind words and a little pat. He’s now sitting beside us – under my chair while we eat breakfast.
Our ride should be here in about an hour. I hope the storm hasn’t damaged any parts of the road. It’s always an interesting journey getting back to Kathmandu from here.
My dad has asked about the young male elephant who was born here five years ago. This little fellow is well, he’s growing a fine set of tusks and is being kept out of trouble. As with all the elephants here, he has two keepers. Unlike the females, he will never be used as a riding elephant as males tend to be unruly and unreliable. It is most likely he’ll be kept here and when the sanctuary opens he’ll enjoy even more freedom than he does now. However, male elephants can be extremely dangerous when in must, so I don’t know how his adolescence and prime adulthood will be handled. These elephants are domestic animals, so setting them loose into wild habitats is not an option. Like horses and dogs and other domestic animals, they need and desire nurturing from their human companions.
That’s the last dispatch from Chitwan.