When the corporate world became too overbearing, I decided it was time to follow my childhood dream and go to Africa. I saved and scrimped, even picking up change off the street for my dream trip, spending 17 days in the bush as part of a volunteer program that changed my world. On Kuki Gallmann's Ol Ari Nyrio, I spent time with cultures that have changed little since time began, saw animals in their natural habitat, far from tourists, electricity, and civilization. This is my story.
In 2007 I shed my corporate skin to chase a lifelong dream - I went to Laikipia, Kenya to do volunteer work at the Gallman conservancy (see also http://www.gallmannkenya.org). I saved every cent I had, picked up found change, sold items on eBay. It changed me forever. I have returned to my art, my writing. My first book is about this journey. 100% of book proceeds will go to the conservancy to aid their anti-poaching efforts. I cannot explain what it is like to see these animals in their natural habitat - not in a zoo, not in a park, but living and breathing wild and free. It is startling to know in a few years they could disappear. Africa is portrayed as many things: starving, lost, poverty-stricken. Americans should see it as I did. Visiting the villages to work on the projects, I sat with the villagers and saw these people in their world free of tourism and the media. They are beautiful and charming, generous and gregarious. Always smiling, open arms. "God" is here.