Passing the half century mark created some interesting anxiety for me. Especially, when I spent the next five years abroad living, a very different life than I had imagined or planned I would.
On returning home I did some introspection and realized how blessed my life had been. When I asked myself the question, “What would I regret most if I died tomorrow?” the answer was somewhat surprising.
My biggest regret had nothing to do with my marriage or that I’d not spent enough time with my kids and their families. It wasn’t that I hadn’t been a good person or a contributing citizen. It struck me that my biggest regret, if I died tomorrow, would be that I hadn’t taken on the crusade to champion South Africa’s endangered wildlife.
After Russ (my husband) and my trip to South Africa in early 2009 it was hard to leave that beautiful country with so many struggles. On returning home I began stewing and mulling over what I could do. Nothing! Nothing came to me.
Then in late January of this year Rob (my son) sent me a link to Kiva. A micro-loan site with a truly global internet world concept. When I read Rob’s email I felt this was another one of those times when my life would change because of something brought to me by my son.
Things began to percolate. By early April it was time to start putting things together. Armed with but a basic concept I hit on a name, NIKELA (meaning “give to” in Zulu) I started my research and talking to people.
I have no idea how to put this all together! I’m simply driven by a desire to assist those private individuals who are diligently doing what ever they can with what ever they’ve got to make a difference in the lives of South African wildlife, today and for the future. So that’s where I am, trusting each day to be led another step closer to making it all reality.