- Party Poop-er
"The Elephant Whisperer" really opened up my eyes to how intelligent and brave and loyal elephants are. I get updates on the elephant and rhino sanctuary that his widow now runs and it is shocking to what extent they have to go to to keep the animals safe from poachers. and even then, it is an ongoing challenge.
I think I also have an angry dad. Harming those majestic creatures would make anyone mad. I know he's going to make a difference somehow. He promised me that on the day we saw a baby standing beside it's dead mom killed by poachers. He's never made me a promise he hasn't kept. So the elephants have that going for them!
However, part of his, and the others' skill set from the beginning of special forces history has been to be able to have small groups of highly trained individuals go into and area to train and pass their knowledge onto an indigenous people so as to make them able to take over a negative situation that is impacting their lives.
They are doing something a little different in that typically this type of thing has been done to fight a political enemy. Not to add hyperbole but what they are doing is a bit historic. They are using and implementing a system designed to train people to fight their own oppression, to save animals.
We are proud and supportive for what they are doing to save the animals but also that they are doing something rather clever and to our knowledge not done before. My Mom has told me gpig didn't even see it like that. He only saw the problem, wanted to change it, and used what he knows. Hopefully, one day, when he's been successful my Mom will write about it and maybe others will be able to do the same in other areas to save these beautiful animals. We know the odds are not with gpig and team but we also know our father and husband, he doesn't know how to quit. And that he is sensitive and caring is what we love most about him but woe to the person who pisses him off by hurting a living creature that can't defend itself.
I will be introduced at that press conference I've been told, provided I stayed on, now the truth can be told, that's why I really stayed on, for my 15 minutes! No actually I have been participating in the strategy meetings and it turns out I might, might mind you, have a tad small bit of management ability. I will be asked to speak for a few minutes explaining the operational aspect of what is being done. I kind of like it all, I've been reading about waterfall vs agile project methodology, all kinds of things. Everyone has been patient and made me feel comfortable.
It is possible I may stay on long term in a consulting basis working from an office, not in the field. I haven't given an answer and dont' need to for a while. The down side is the main office is in London (although there will be a satellite in New York) the up side is working remotely and only having to travel a few times a year, I think. I love London and so does my wife. I do have an obligation to our family business that will need to be addressed but as I mentioned it seems to be running just fine in my absence so we'll see.
The sad thing of it is that the poaching season ramps up soon. The reason being is that the dry season begins in about a month and the animals are more centralized, more predicable. I hadn't been told this but during my last trip one night as lay awake wishing I could sleep I began thinking if I were a poacher what would I do? I hate that I can get myself to think that way but I was right. When I inquired, it is indeed a poaching bonanza, so I made plans at the end of last trip for this time period and the end of Africa trip coincides with some meetings in that will begin in London.
A good thing is that my wife will be able to meet me and I think I will also come home for about 10 days in between, maybe. I don't like to break focus like that but I may need to. Not sure anymore what my body and head wants/needs but hey will tell me, I've learned to listen. I'm like an old pitcher who doesn't have a fastball anymore but I've been around so I can throw some junk and still get some outs if I pay attention.
I too hope to accomplish something sustainable that makes a difference. I know it's a long shot but historically I've been pretty good when the odds are stacked against me. It's the easy stuff I blow!
My wife claims I'm looking for redemption and she's probably correct. I've learned to listen to the suggestions and opinions of people who care about me. I know it is dangerous for me to have an agenda outside the logical scope and goals of mission especially an agenda steeped in a psychological quagmire. I am being careful and continue to plan cautiously and to be prepared physically and mentally.
Thanks again but don't worry, Ill be alright. Hopefully, I will be able to help those beautiful animals.
My wife is going to come visit me in July and we will take off a week or two before I get into it full swing to watch the Maasai Mara migration. It is suppose to be spectacular. I'm concerned about losing focus but I think I'll be ok. A couple times in Afghanistan I lost myself in the beauty of the place for a few minutes and I remember admonishing myself for being so careless. But this is different, the stakes are the same, maybe greater for me personally, but with maturity I now see the benefit of taking in the beauty and using it as motivation to succeed, I hope.