Volunteering for Nikela to help save endangered rhino and other threatened wildlife species Margrit and Russ prepare.
What does it take to get ready for a 10 week wildlife conservation trip?
Desire? Connections? Money? Or a bit of foolishness maybe?
In reality it’s probably a good dose of all four.
Margrit and Russ head for Africa to gather stories from those in the trenches to help share the beauty of Africa and raise awareness to end the buying of products made from wild animal and bird body parts…. in the U.S.
So what does it take to embark on such a venture?
People like Peter, Shannon, Silke, Karen and countless others devote their time, resources and entire lives to save wild animals and birds. Why? What motivates people like them to give up a ‘normal’ and comfortable life to expose themselves to physical harm and heartache?
That’s what Margrit and Russ are going to find out first hand. Capture what’s possible and share the stories. To do this they will travel thousands of kilometers in a little tiny rented car and sleep in a tent.
Meeting up with wildlife conservationists and advocates in Kwazulu-Natal, around the Kruger Park area, up through western Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls region, northern South Africa and Johannesburg/Pretoria areas are on the loosely organized schedule.
Thanks to Facebook and other social media connecting with folk and those willing to set up meetings and make arrangements is possible.
So far meetings are being scheduled with wildlife rangers, rehabbers, advocates, activists, wildlife vets, journalists, and ordinary citizens who care. Each has a story to tell. Each is probably a ‘starfish thrower’ of some kind that more should hear about.
After a two month marathon working to set aside extra cash Margrit and Russ Harris two of the Founders of Nikela are back in Texas for the Holidays.
This trip estimated to cost around $11,000 is self-funded by the Harris’ who spend several months each year working specifically to support their volunteer efforts with Nikela.
Like many of you who spend your time, resources and talents doing what you believe in, there are those who simply don’t understand. Who shake their heads and wish you’d ‘grow up’ and just be ‘normal’. Well, getting things done, changing hearts, and ‘throwing starfish’ has never been accomplished by ‘average’ people. It’s the odd, foolish, out of the ordinary that make a difference for our environment, wildlife, and all who call this green orb home.