By Eloise Dunn Brice, Vice President for University Advancement
As UH’s Vice President for University Advancement, I’m fortunate to have many opportunities to interact with our amazing alumni and friends. Last fall, I attended the UHAA trip to India. It was an intense, interesting, well-planned (thanks to Kendra Hakanson, UHAA program coordinator!) venture with 30 other alumni and friends. President and Suresh Khator joined us en route after the Homecoming weekend in Houston.
We had a fantastic local guide who explained the historical, political, and religious significance of so many places we saw — including where Gandhi lived and died, where the maharajahs reigned and fought off the invaders, where Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal (the world’s most famous and best-loved monument), where tigers live on protected reserves and where bodies are cremated on the banks of the Ganges River. We travelled by plane, train, rickshaw, elephant, jeep, boat, and were even pulled by camels.
Sound like fun? It was, even though we faced a few challenges — both with the air quality (smog levels at a record high on some days) and a monetary crisis, when an emergency measure enacted by Prime Minister Modi declared the two most counterfeited bills to be null and void overnight. But, my fellow Cougar travelers were amazing — I was so proud to be among them.
Overall, the trip was a great opportunity to bond with alumni and allow them to experience India through the eyes of the President. UHAA Travel at its finest! It is fitting that the Alumni Association is organizing these journeys around the country and the globe, because our alumni are taking the world by storm. I thank the Alumni Association again for organizing this trip, and I hope that alumni will take advantage of the many different journeys available to them.