For me, this will be my second time to Africa after visiting Zimbabwe during the Summer of 2010. There I volunteered at Antelope Park and was able to work with and for the fantastic lions. This time around it will be safari trip.
For Patricia this will be her very first big overseas trip, leaving the European continent behind her. Will she like it or won’t she? That is the question… I can only hope that she will, just like I do.
How did we decide on Kenya? Well, I just wanted to go back to Africa and not next year but this year! I know I know, what I want I get, right? Well, depends on the wanting. Since we only had 2 weeks and a budget that wasn’t too big we couldn’t really visit South Africa/Namibia. So Kenya was our next option. Not that it is a bad one..hell no!
Some of you who know me well, know that whenever I make a big overseas trip I try to raise some money for a good cause. Back in 2004 I travelled to Australia for the second time and was going to volunteer at the Koala Hospital (http://www.koalahospital.org.au) Port Macquarie (near Sydney) so got some money together for the poor, injured, gorgeous koalas (NO!!! it’s not a bear!).
As mentioned above, Zimbabwe was my destination last year so I raised money ALERT (http://www.lionalert.org).
This time around we are going for the Born Free Foundation (http://www.bornfree.org.uk). After last year’s trip and experience I started reading up about Mr George Adamson and his wife Joy; their lives with and for the lions. I bet you have all heard and read about Elsa, the lioness that was hand raised after George had to shot her mother (http://www.fatheroflions.org/Elsa.html) or saw the youtube sensation : Christian the Lion (http://youtu.be/cvCjyWp3rEk).
BORN FREE’s history:
The charity has a unique and very special history. In 1964, Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna travelled to Kenya to star in the classic wildlife film ‘Born Free’, based on the best-selling book by Joy Adamson. Released in 1966, the film told the true story of George and Joy Adamson’s fight to return Elsa the lioness to the wild.
The Adamson’s story was enjoyed by tens of millions around the globe, inspiring a generation, and changing the world’s attitude to lions forever. Making Born Free profoundly affected Bill and Virginia. Working with George and Joy influenced the rest of their lives. Their close contact with the lions sparked a lifelong commitment to wildlife and they realised wild animals belong in the wild, not incarcerated in captivity…
More info can be found on their website.
So, what did we do? I made some support cards and sold (still am) them for €5 and Patricia and I organized a Reunion Party with music from the 70’s-80’s and 90’s. It was a huge success for sure! 274 people around, had some drinks, had fun and danced the night away!
On our first full day in Nairobi we will be meeting up with the people from the Born Free Foundation and we will give them the money we raised. How much it is we will tell you when we are leaving as we are still accepting donations and selling the cards.
But, we could just give money to the Born Free Foundation as we found another great cause over there in Nairobi. And yes, we are well aware that there are so many wonderful causes, people who devote their lives to the well being of our furry friends.
But the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage (http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org) got our attention too!
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
is a small, flexible charity, established in 1977 to honour to memory of a famous Naturalist, David Leslie William Sheldrick MBE, the founder Warden of Tsavo East National Park in Kenya, where he served from its inception in 1948 until his transfer to Nairobi in 1976 to head the Planning Unit of the newly created Wildlife Conservation & Management Department. David died 6 months later but his legacy of excellence and the systems he installed for the management of Tsavo and wildlife generally in Kenya, particularly in the sphere of wildlife husbandry and ethics, lives on.
We have fostered a little orphaned Elly, named Naipoki and on December 12th 5:00pm we will be so privileged to meet ‘our’ little girl! You can imagine that we are pretty darn trilled about that! And no need to say that we will take plenty of pictures and some film to show you all.
If you would like to foster a little one (and it’s only $50 a year) please go to :http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/asp/fostering.asp
This is it for now but be assured more will news and updates will follow before we leave!
Patricia & Sylvie