It has been three months since my beautiful animals have arrived and somehow it still seems unreal. I see them, I hear them, I feed them and I take care of them, but it still feels like a dream.
Before starting on the Panthera Africa journey I worked with and saw my animal nearly 364 days of the year for 5 years, and all of a sudden I was left seeing them an hour a day maybe 5 days a month, or even every second month. Although I knew we would be reunited, this was just the worst and most heart breaking months ever. I often found myself crying or exploding in anger for no reason. I often found myself longing for them to the point that I felt time is standing still. Everyday I thought of them and everyday I prayed that we would be reunited and that they knew how much I loved them. It has been a hard year and a half from leaving the previous project where my passion started, searching for a perfect piece of land, going for weeks without seeing my animals. In addition we started with the testing and nerve wrecking approvals and through all of this I needed to find the energy and inspiration somewhere. There were many ups and downs, and some days I asked myself: “what the hell are you doing? Have you gone stark raving mad thinking you can setup a sanctuary?” On these days Cat would buy me a bus ticket to Bloemfontein to visit the animals and as soon as I saw there faces – I knew why and for who I am doing this. Everytime I saw my lion boys eyes and heard their roars, my energy and inspiration exploded!! These animals are my life and they have changed me in a way I never knew possible.
Writing my blog outside lala(Pardus), our black leopard’s enclosure, I look at her and the tears start to flow. She is here, she is realy here!! I can walk outside everyday and see her beautiful rosettes and see her climb her tree like a monkey. I look outside my bedroom window and see all my animals happily resting on their hobbit houses. I start my tours introducing our tigers, and Raise chuffs gently. I drink coffee and watch the sunset with my soulmate, Neptune and end of my day breathing in deep as my lion boys roar so close that I feel the vibration in my heart and body.
People say that we have saved these animals, but in fact THEY HAVE SAVED ME!!
I read an inspirational piece at breakfast this morning and it triggered something inside me. Often we find ourselves on auto pilot and just surviving through another day because that is life, but STOP, breath, feel, think and…
LET NOTHING HOLD YOU BACK:
Go forward with your shoulders back, with your head high, and with a smile. With your enthusiastic spirit, perseverance, and integrity of character, put your intelligence, talents, and passion into action.
Never let setbacks excuse you from trying again. It often takes many attempts to be a success.
Never let negative people influence you or direct what you do. Always face forward and see your whole life shining bright for you. Never let go of your character, ideals, or activism for the good of this world.
Never let go of the passion that inspire you, guide you, and always smile on you. These passions will lead you to reach your fullest potential. Hold on to them, and they will keep you honest, caring, kind, and generous with the finest gifts your heart can give. – Jacqueline Schiff –
Love and light,
– June 2015 –