Back in 2009 Margrit asked herself a life changing question.
“What would I regret most if I died tomorrow?”
Now several years later, we travel Africa helping people saving wildlife. The best part… you’re invited to join the adventure to save Africa’s wildlife.
Now back to the beginning
The answer surprised Margrit…
“Hmm! I’ve been married to my best friend for over 30 years, raised three amazing children, have had rewarding career opportunities, owned my dream home, served my God in church service, enjoy five grandchildren…
answer surprised me.
What I would regret most if I died tomorrow? That I’d done nothing for the wildlife of my homeland.”
Devastation in the Philippines
In the summer of 2007 Russ and I returned from the Philippines where we spent five years assisting in humanitarian and leadership projects. During that time I was appalled and deeply troubled by the devastation and exploitation of the environment and wildlife.
I saw everything that moved, from song bird to iguana, being trapped, grilled and eaten or tied with rope, hung upside down and sold on the roadside. Some scientists have concluded that environmentally the Philippines is a lost cause. In his book, Requiem for Nature, John Terborgh writes, the “overpopulated… Philippines are already beyond the point of no return.”
In early 2009 Russ, and I visited the African Bird of Prey Sanctuary close to where my parents lived, in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. This sanctuary cares for falcons, hawks, kites, eagles, owls, and vultures who are largely the victims of injuries, poisoning or illegal possession. A select few of those that cannot be returned to the wild become ambassador birds.
It was on one of those typical sunny African afternoons that somehow during Shannon Hoffman’s’ flight show we were changed. Was it the owl that I felt more than saw fly silently over my head? Was it YBK, the kite, dancing in the breeze above us? Was it the lightning speed of the falcon swooping to grab the lure in mid air? Or was it the stories Shannon told about these birds that touched my heart? I’m not sure. I just know Russ felt it too, because on the way out he dropped his ‘in case of emergency’ $100 bill he’d carried in his wallet for years into the donation box.
On our long flight back to the US I kept thinking of Shannon and the birds of prey who’s numbers were dwindling and how most of us didn’t have a clue it was happening.
Was my homeland destined to a similar fate as the Philippines?
“Africa‘s game parks have lost well over half of their big mammals… since 1970” REUTERS
“Another rhino found dead… poaching is on the rise.” News24 (Over 330 killed for their horns last year in South Africa)
News flashes like this troubled and overwhelmed me.
Can you believe that when I was born there were over 450,000 lions in the world. Now there are less than 20,000 and declining rapidly.
What could we do? The situation seemed so bleak!
Time to Take Action
It was Russ who finally triggered the action. In March 2010 he looked at me with those clear blue eyes and said, “We just need to jump in and figure it out as we go.” And with that an incredible journey began.
- The right people started showing up to create this global community of people who care.
- We went to South Africa for 34 days putting 4560 miles on a rental car and discovered the struggle of the few aging dedicated experts to protect the wildlife.
- An inspired process emerged.
- It seemed like everything was perfect! Well of course it wasn’t.
- However, with your help we have been making a difference.
Now many years later, we spend the better part of the year in Africa finding those doing good for wildlife and invite you to join the adventure to save Africa’s wildlife.
Helping is easy. Click the giraffe below.