On the Road with RoxAnna
Senegal- on the coast of West Africa
We all have a story, don’t we? We all have family, friends, experiences that got us to where we are today. This is a common thread among humanity. We all have a story.
Today I saw many different people, some Seneglalese, some tourists, some colleagues and some friends. Throughout the day, I heard lots of stories from all. Some made me feel sad, some made me laugh and some made me think deeply about why we care about what we care about. Stories can be inspiring whether they are positive or negative, whether we agree or disagree but usually we can find something in the story that we can connect with.
A Senegalese man today told me a story about 7 wooden carvings. By just looking at them, they just looked like 7 little wooden figures, lined up side by side. He asked if I liked them and I responded with , Oui, tres joli (Yes, very pretty, in French). But then he told me a story about the 7 figures. Each figure represented a day of the week, each had their own hidden meaning in the carving to tell you what day it was. I would have never seen that in those little figures unless he had told me that story. The story of what was right in front of my eyes was revealed through his words. He was kind enough to share that with me.
It reminded me that we must never be afraid or selfish or hide away our stories. Especially, the amazing stories we have about the animals and wildlife we care so much about. The Living Desert has many amazing species that we care for and we are proud to share with the world. Every day we should be excited to share their stories, because they are amazing. Here is one amazing story… A few years ago, a species of Oryx, a desert dwelling antelope, were extinct in the wild. Extinct. Gone. Only found in human care. But today because of some strong people with guts, a lofty goal and an animal with an amazing story, they are now thriving in the wild. This is one story with a happy ending, so far. It is up to all of us to continue to tell these stories and not have any more end in extinction. There is no hidden message in the extinction story, once they are gone, they are gone forever.
We will continue to tell our stories, yell them from the rooftops if we need to so that the animals stories can be told. So that everyone knows how awesome they are, so that no more animals go extinct. These are the stories we will tell, that we must share. The oryx, the cheetah, the giraffe, the wolf, the tortoise and on and on, they all have stories. Stories that are meant to be heard, meant to inspire and meant to make a difference. Because their survival depends on us, all of us to share their stories. Be part of the solution and tell a story about wildlife, about what you can do to help, visit your local accredited zoo and find out more about the animals you love. Use your voice and tell a story on behalf of an animal you love. Because, if not us, then who?
Oh and I saw my first ever wild monkey today. But that is a story for another day.
Kind wishes, RoxAnna