I was approached about six weeks ago and asked if I would be prepared to share some descriptive writing passages from my Jennys Jumbo Jargon with a class of 9 to 10 year olds during their English lesson. I was thrilled. I spent roughly two and a half hours with this class full of hungry minds and I was captivated by Rebecca’s teaching methods and how responsive and inter-active the children were.
This coming Wednesday 25th, I am going back to this same class of children to talk to them about my blog, elephants and Chengeta Wildlife. We will then read through a couple of extracts from a few of my blogs and discuss their purpose, how they persuade and the different choices of vocabulary etc. I am beside myself with excitement at sharing my passion of Africa’s untamed splendour where earth drifts into heaven, elephants and of course Chengeta Wildlife…which I am honoured to be a part of.
One only has to look at the shrinking natural world to know that something has gone sadly amiss. This group of children that I will be spending time with are a minute part of the future and as custodians of the planet they need to embrace kindness and respect towards this earth. I have been privileged to grow up in this timeless land and can close my eyes at any given time and smell the sweet breath of the warm wind as it scoops up the flaxen dust before freckling it over my sun browned arms. I can listen carefully and hear the veld gently breathing before the silence shredding cicadas fill the afternoon. The feeling of awe and heart pounding joy of being in the presence of elephants as they rumble past leaving you with a warm musky scent of Africa filling your nostrils is tucked away safely…and brought out for those quiet times. There is a joy and curiosity in the delicate sun rays peeping through the wet canopy of trees and I am hoping for the same results from these kids on Wednesday.
I want them to close their eyes and fall under the spell of these ancient beings…to surrender and to be encompassed by the invisible aura that surrounds these magnificent animals and to share and feel their presence even though we are 7 000 miles away. I want these children to feel the magic that these animals exude as they reach deep into the human soul in a mysterious and mystifying way.
Elephants are the largest land mammals on earth and also the most emotionally human. The breeding herd of females are led by the matriarch, a wise mature female whose herd rely totally on her experience, memory and good leadership to survive. These breeding herds will live and form bonds that are forged over fifty years and once the matriarch dies, the leadership is normally passed onto one of her daughters who has learnt the necessary skills to take on this important position in the herd. Their intricate and complex family values rival our own and these enormous creatures carry their large heavy hearts on their sleeves. The noisy exuberance and trumpeting of baby elephants at a waterhole will mirror the behaviour of a group of young human children in a play ground as both species tussle and push…overjoyed at the freedom of space and sunshine around them. Compare a sulking 10 year old elephant to a sulking 10 year old human…there are such close similarities in the rate of growth and behaviour of the different personalities in both species. The joy of a new family member and the gut wrenching sorrow of death affects both elephants and humans in the same way. There is something special and endearing about elephant calves… they exude the very essence of life.
We will discuss the evils of this rampant destruction sweeping through the sun kissed bush of the Continent devouring these magnificent animals and other wildlife with the hunger and ferocious appetite of a Tsunami wave. Plants and all living creatures are functioning parts of the ecosystem and nature should be our teacher….and our guide. I will see the frowns on their little faces as I tell them that 100 elephants are killed every day..frozen in time… forever. This amounts to one every 15 minutes…all slaughtered for ivory bracelets, trinkets, chops sticks and carvings. We will examine the ‘true cost of ivory trinkets’. We will have a brief look at how the poaching is breaking the continuity of information that is passed down through the generations…information that is vital to the well being stability of the herd..
I will explain that I spend so many hours of my spare time writing my blogs and poetry as I cannot sit idle…pretending that this tragedy is not happening. Apathy is the biggest danger facing these sentient giants and other endangered species.
The class will have spent time before my arrival having a look at the Chengeta Wildlife website. I will discuss the fact that Rory is a dad of two who is passionate about the wildlife and dedicated to preserving the African biodiversity. Rory has the knowledge, skills and ability to train the ‘anti poaching units’ in the different African countries enabling these rangers to confront the horrific and urgent problems of poaching head on. He is a selfless man driven by an urgency to share his knowledge to protect….not only the wildlife but the rangers themselves whose lives are at risk from these violent and ruthless poaching syndicates whose eyes are steaming in their own malice. I am on Chengeta Wildlife’s board of directors and a part of our mission is to raise funds to enable Rory Young to share his knowledge and skills throughout Africa. We are an important part of creating a future for these animals…ensuring that your children will not be asking in 20 years time why elephants, lions and rhinos are only found in zoos.
These children will then discuss any other environmental challenges needing attention..deforestation, plight of the polar bears in the Arctic and I will be sharing some of their work with you all in the near future. Wish me luck and please keep sharing our Chengeta Wildlife website. Wednesday will be good practice before our presentation at a Rotarian dinner in March.
WE ALL HAVE A VOICE…HELP TO RAISE THE AWARENESS. YOU TOO CAN SUPPORT CHENGETA WILDLIFE.