A recent neuroscience podcast asserts that elephants may be wired more maternally than us as human beings. Africa, being one continent home to elephants, has drawn me in since childhood for its majestic creatures and dynamic culture among the human population.
When I was in second grade I remember sitting on the worn out rug of my classroom watching a presentation by someone who had visited Kenya and there began my love for the artistic expression of self through fashion as I saw the beauty in different jewelry and garments. But now as an adult vividly remembering this I can recall more to these images as the smiles and stories behind each individual's eyes adding to the slide show projected on the wall as I watched through my young child-like mind.
As a child, my love for animals was pre existing and expanded when I learned about the diverse range of species in Africa compared to what we have here in the states. What was a new concept for me during this presentation was the thought of a child being “orphaned”.
“A child without parents” was unfathomable to me and planted a seed to help others less fortunate than me that day. Little did I know at that time I would actually have the opportunity to one day travel to this country and Kenya and its' beauty and travesties myself.
As a new-struggling-to-make-ends-meet-mother, a supervisor of an entry level position at the time suggested I attend a presentation by a professor from the University of Denver. I attended. This time sitting in a chair - not on the floor. And he spoke of orphaned elephants. It brought me back to the seed that was planted in second grade - the seed that gave me passion and love to help people.
This presenter's name is Phil and years later after I returned to college and completed my Masters in Social Work he called me one day and asked if I’d like to join him, his associate professor and a group of graduate students on a trip to Kenya for an immersion course on Human-Animal Welfare.
I, of course, said YES!