"You find family members with whom you share no blood in the most surprising places." - Boyd Varty
“Everything in Africa bites, but the safari bug is worst of all.” - Brian Jackman
"I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up that I was not happy.” - Ernest Hemingway
Boyd Varty, Brian Jackman and Ernest Hemingway said it best. Africa's safari is like nowhere on earth. It is a magical and special place that has invoked feelings that are forever engrained within me. My visit to Londolozi Game Reserve this past October shed a new light on a part of the world and an experience that allowed me to disconnect from the pressure of modern life and reconnect on a deeper level with nature and wildlife.
Over the five days I was there, I saw firsthand how much of an impact the wildlife has on the community. Our guide and tracker, Guy Brunskill and Shadrack Mkhabela, taught me that no matter how many thousands of miles, traditions, religions and customs apart, we are all universally connected. Connected through the love of the animals. Each animal had a story and each animal's ascendants held a special place in each of their hearts. While I experienced nothing but the good, I learned that there was so much bad taking place at the same time. The destruction poaching has on a community, wildlife population and the environment is devastating. I left Londolozi wanting nothing more than to do something - anything - to protect animals from cruelty around the world.
Fast forward to now. Running has always been something that is near and dear to my heart. I have run a few half marathons in the past, leading up to my participation in the NYC Marathon in 2016. However, I have never run for a cause until now.
In March, I will be running the 2019 New York City Half Marathon alongside World Animal Protection's mission to move the world to protect animals across many areas of work including animals in the wild, animals in disasters, animals in farming and in communities.
As you can see, this organization means so much to me and I would appreciate your support in helping me reach my goal. Thank you.