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Earth Expedition Namibia
Tomorrow I embark on the trip of a lifetime. I will head all alone with my sleeping bag, some clothes and a guide book on Namibia. When I arrive in Namibia two days from now I will meet up with 22 strangers to head out into the bush to the Cheetah Conservation Fund of Namibia. There we will spend the next seven days learning about one of Namibia’s top predators, the cheetah. The 22 strangers are educators and zoo staff from around the world, we are all part of Earth Expeditions. Earth Expeditions brings together educators, field scientists, community leaders and others to create new learning partnerships. We will work together discussing and implementing model approaches to education and community-based conservation.
There will be field work, lectures and some great hands-on experience. There will also be long days, freezing nights (It’s winter in South Africa), days without showers, strange food, limited electricity and a lot of work. I will love every minute. The opportunity to see conservation in action helps me bring more to my role as Education Director at the Audubon Zoo. The opportunity to see animals in their natural habitat also brings a lot to my role in connecting people to nature. I get to share my first-hand experience with a cheetah to our young guests. My excitement and passion can become theirs. There is so much I hope to see-giant African dung beetles, honey badgers, and striped weasels! Oh yeah, and elephants, black rhinos and lions!
It will be a busy week and the 22 strangers will become colleagues and friends. When that week ends I will rent a car and drive across the country exploring a land of beautiful deserts, wild animals and the Skeleton Coast. They say life has three stages. The first third is about learning, the second about earning and the third about giving back. I am in the stage of giving back, but I will never leave the learning stage. This trip for me is about reaching a greater human potential. I hope to have an opportunity to share it all with you real soon.