Mi experiencia Inolvidable en la Parque Nacional Natural Farallones De Cali: Un lugar para aprender sobre la naturaleza y sobre sí mismo.

Mi experiencia Inolvidable en la Parque Nacional Natural Farallones De Cali: Un lugar para aprender sobre la naturaleza y sobre sí mismo.

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Farallones de Cali! Patrimonio de los Caleños!

la Parque Nacional Natural Farallones De Cali

  • Ubicación: Departamento del Valle del Cauca
  • Año de creación: 1968
  • Extensión: 150.000 hectáreas
  • Altura: 200 a 4.100 msnm
  • Ecosistemas: Selva Húmeda Tropical, Bosque húmedo Subandino, Bosque Alto Andino Húmedo, Páramo. 
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Este foto fue tomando en la reserva, Anahuac Reserva Natural.

Viajar es imprescindible y la sed de viaje, un síntoma neto de inteligencia- Enrique Jardiel Poncela

El Parque Nacional Natural Farallones de Cali es un lugar mágico donde se puede experimentar una conexión profunda con la naturaleza, y en mi caso particular una conexión con Roger y su compañeros, nuestro guía encargado y con mis amigos compañeros de voluntariado, el grupo ELE FOCALAE. Como yo estudié ciencia ambiental y amo la naturaleza, puedo decir que tuve una experiencia increíble que me hizo muy feliz, porque aprendí cantidad de cosas interesantes, vi animales hermosos y compartí con personas valiosas. Por eso quiero consignar aquí las partes más importantes de este voluntariado.  

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Después de legar en la cima de Pico De Loro! Estamos muy feliz!

Escapa Y Respira el aire de nuevos lugares!

La mejor parte de este viaje fue que pude experimentar la gran y rica diversidad de Farallones con mis amigos. El 9 de septiembre de 2018, fuimos al Parque Nacional Natural Farallones, el área protegida más grande en el Valle del Cauca, donde se conservan más de 530 especies de aves y donde más de 30 ríos nacen y abastecen el agua a la gente de Cali. Este parque se encuentra a las afueras de Cali. Para llegar tomamos alrededor de 2 horas en un bus que nos recogió en la Universidad Javeriana desde el viernes, ya que nos íbamos a quedar una noche en una reserva natural llamada Anahuac. Esta reserva es hermosa, porque está aislada del ruido y la locura de la ciudad, y se encuentra dentro del bosque, donde todo el entorno es muy tranquilo y me gusta que allá están comprometidos haciendo un gran esfuerzo por mantener el medio ambiente organizando actividades que extienden esta iniciativa a más gente y hacen la reserva sostenible. Yo hablé con el propietario y él compartió su amor e interés por la naturaleza. Él me contó cómo esto lo inspiró para comenzar este negocio. Descubrí que es muy poderoso e inspirador, especialmente para mí, porque la conversación con él me ayudó a darme cuenta de cómo la naturaleza puede ser tan poderosa y puede inspirarnos a tomar mejores decisiones de vida.

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El paisaje está muy magnífico! Maravilloso! Impresionante! Lindisimo!

Prometo disfrutar de cada rincón descubierto, dejarme conquistar por calles escondidas. Prometo saltarme la ruta, atrever a perderme, caminar hasta que me duelan los pies. Prometo ser un viajero de ojos abiertos y corazón contento

Otra razón por la que esta charla me conquistó es que yo estudié ciencia ambiental con énfasis en cambio climático en mi universidad, así que amo la naturaleza. Y este hombre me mostró una forma de vida cuidando lo que amo y haciendo lo que me gusta, así que fue perfecta para mí. Disfruto mucho estos momentos porque me encanta conectarme con la naturaleza y reflexionar sobre sus maravillas. Por esta razón sentí una felicidad sin límite cuando nuestras profesoras de Icesi y Javeriana nos dijeron que íbamos a Farallones los fines de semana. Además, me encanta conectar y interactuar con diferentes personas, como este sujeto, que habló conmigo tan abiertamente.  Este programa me ha ofrecido la oportunidad perfecta para conectarme, no sólo con mis compañeros, sino con gente de Cali también y quisiera dar más detalles sobre cómo sucedieron estas conexiones, por lo que voy a contar qué pasó en estos dos días tan rodeados de naturaleza.

La noche en esta reserva fue muy relajada. Con mis amigos, nosotros compartimos nuestros objetivos y ambiciones de nuestras vidas. La mayoría de mis amigos aquí son guías turísticos en sus países, entonces fue muy interesante escuchar estas experiencias maravillosas de mis amigos en sus trabajos.  Por ejemplo, fue interesante escuchar a mi amigo Stephan hablar sobre su vida de safari en Sudáfrica. De igual modo, Rinzin, mi amigo de Bután, comparte sus aventuras de senderismo al Nido del Tigre en su país, uno de los monasterios más bellos e inaccesibles, pues queda una montaña increíble, pero con un camino bastante complicado. Daniyar, mi amigo de Uzbekistán, también comparte historias de la riqueza cultural y arquitectónica de su país. Ese momento para mí fue como un tesoro, porque yo aprendí mucho sobre países diferentes.  Entonces me di cuenta de que este programa, ELE FOCALAE, trata sobre esto precisamente: compartir historias de nuestra vida, nuestra cultura y nuestro país mientras construimos relaciones de amistad eterna. Después de esta epifanía, y con nuestro corazón satisfecho y contento, nosotros nos acostamos a dormir muy emocionados por nuestro ascenso a Pico’e Loro la mañana siguiente.

viajar te hace modesto porque puedes ver que pequeño es el lugar que ocupas en este mundo

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La foto con mis amigos mientras escalar a pico de loro.

Nos levantamos muy temprano, a las 5 de la mañana y después de desayunar, empezamos a subir con mis amigos de la reserva. En la entrada de Pico’e Loro, nosotros nos conocimos con personas diferentes, y el guía que nos llevaría a la cima. Pico’e Loro es una de las montañas más altas en el corregimiento de Pance, pues está a 2.860 msnm, lo que significa un gran ascenso, pues la ciudad de Cali se encuentra a 1000 msnm. Por eso, la caminata fue muy difícil, porque el camino estaba muy inclinado. También llovió la noche anterior, entonces los senderos estaban muy resbaladizos. Todos nos caímos mientras caminábamos por el sendero. Creo que me caí al menos 15 veces ¡qué loco! Sin embargo, el camino estuvo bien y no tuvimos mayores contratiempos. El camino fue muy interesante porque el paisaje cambia con cada paso. Paso a paso, y poco a poco, nosotros caminamos hasta el destino final. La mejor parte del camino fue que vi animales y aves diferentes. Por ejemplo, vi aves bellísimas con su colores brillantes: una amarilla que se llama Tangara icterocephala y otra  azul que se llama azulejo. También, yo vi una pequeña serpiente. Finalmente, después de caminar por 3 horas, llegamos a la cima. Cuando yo llegué, estaba sin palabras porque la vista panorámica de todo el valle era impresionante. Me sentí poderoso e invencible en la cima de Pico’e Loro. Allí sentí todo el poder que tiene la naturaleza sobre nosotros, pensé entonces en todos los recursos naturales que tenemos en el mundo, y cuán afortunados somos por tener estos increíbles regalitos naturales. Una cosa que yo aprendí en este viaje fue que tenemos que ser responsables y cuidar los recursos naturales. Creo que todos deberíamos tomar iniciativas por conservar y preservar nuestro ambiente. Y siempre, siempre, siempre recordaré Colombia por esta razón.

 

 

                                 Chlorophanes spiza                             Semnornis ramphastinus               Tangara icterocephala

           Yo vi estas aves mientras subía. (Fotografía-  Foto. Santiago Ruiz)

“If I am an advocate for anything, it is to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean or across the river. Walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food. It’s a plus for everybody.” – Anthony Bourdain

Me gusta, me encanta, me fascina, me enloquece desafío físico, y esta actividad fue perfecta para mí. Mi experiencia en Farallones mientras caminaba fue un gran desafío, casi tan grande como aprender español. Fue tan difícil como escalar el Monte Everest en mi país: muy difícil, pero muy gratificante. Aquí aprendí sobre la naturaleza que Colombia ofrece, aprendí sobre la vida de los guardaparques y también sobre la fauna y flora dentro del parque. Pero lo que más me sorprendió, fue tomar conciencia de mi capacidad para aprender nuevas cosas, procesar información y mi capacidad para compartir mi experiencia, mi identidad y la cultura de mi país.

Yo quiero agradecer nuestro mejor amigo, nuestro guía, el Señor Roger por toda su ayuda y buena disposición. Tambien, quiero agradecer mis profesoras y mis amigos. Muchas Gracias por tanta ayuda!  

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La Foto con Señor Roger y mi amiga de Mongolia.
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Siempre, estamos listos para la foto. 
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Nosotros aceptamos el desafío.
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Estoy Loco, porque estoy en cima de Pico de Loro.
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Muchas Gracias a todos!!! Que Increible experiencia!
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Amor Son Acciones

23a5f5bb-6420-44bd-a90c-81c4b0231dc6.jpgEn búsqueda de la dignidad del ser humano, con un grupo de Voluntarios de la Universidad Icesi y la Fundación Samaritanos de la Calle, pudimos compartimos un poco de calor fraterno en medio de una la noche fría… ¡Gracias a todos!

 

Santiago De Cali, también conocida abreviadamente como CALI, es una bonita ciudad. Cali tiene muchas personas, y todas las personas son muy amables y serviciales. La gente de cali disfruta de la vida bailando salsa, y comiendo diferentes variedades de comida. Sin embargo, no todas los personas que viven en Cali tienen la vida satisfecha. No todas las personas que viven en Cali tienen todas la facilidades y servicios necesarios para vivir una buena calidad de vida. Especialmente, la gente de calle, y niños y niñas de calle no tienen una buena vida.  La comida, refugio y la ropa son necesidades muy importantes y fundamentales para la vida. Entonces, es imposible imaginar un vida sin estos.

 

1be49c86-cd34-4320-b266-bb3655d032b2.jpgQué linda foto con el profesor Roscio del ICESI. Ella es muy amable, muy útil y siempre tiene una energía muy positiva.

 

En 14 de Agosto 2018, pude participar en la programa de voluntario, organizado por el “Proyecto Social PSU” de la universidad ICESI , con estudiantes de ICESI y la organización social Samaritanos de la calle. Me siento agradecido por recibir la oportunidad de explorar otras partes de Cali. Son otras partes,  pobres de cali, que generalmente no se escuchan y no se ven. Me siento afortunado de conocer la otra parte pobre de cali, porque yo tengo la oportunidad para aprender, y entender la triste situación de calle. Yo fui con estudiantes de ICESI porque, los estudiantes de ICESI participar en este programa también. Nosotros compartimos el pan y agua de panela a todos los niños y niñas de la calle del centro de Cali. Nosotros proveemos a la gente de calle del centro también. Mientras distribuía el pan, encontré muchas personas de calle con diferentes orígenes e historias. Me sorprende  un hombre del centro Cali, porque él conoce mi país, y el conoce la capital de mi país. Yo no estaba esperando esto.

Tuve que interactuar con el padre de la organización, y nosotros interactuamos sobre diferentes temas como la condición de niños de calle, y lo que lo inspiró para ayudar los niños. Mi experiencia como estudiante de ICESI para el Voluntario program fue inolvidable porque yo tuve una maravillosa oportunidad para participar en un muy interesante programa de voluntariado.  El centro, tiene muy desprotegidos y desgraciados a los niños y niñas, también muchas personas de diferente origen con condiciones desdichadas. Entonces, el programa fue muy interesante para observar, y entender la lucha y difícil vida de la gente de calle.

Especialmente, la gente de calle tiene historias muy interesantes  sobre su condición, y sobre cómo se convirtieron niños de la calle. Siempre tengo curiosidad por aprender nuevas cosas y entender la interesante información y cultura. Entonces, este programa de voluntario es perfecto para explorar mi interes. Me siento agradecido por contribuir mi tiempo y ayudar a las vidas de alguien que necesita más ayuda. Yo creo que todas las personas en su vida deberían contribuir su tiempo y ayuda. Yo creo que porque vivimos en mundo en común , y como inteligente entre todos, debemos ayudar a hacer de este mundo un lugar mejor, mejor lugar para vivir, compartir nuestra historias, cultura y vivir feliz juntos.

Muchas gracias Señor Victor H. Fernández, Coordinador del Proyecto Social, y todos estudiantes de ICESI por tomar la iniciativa de organizar este excelente evento y por hacer parte de este gran programa. Muy Apreciado!

 

Proyecto Social.jpgSeñor Víctor H. Fernández, Coordinador del Proyecto Social explicando sobre program voluntario y la condición de la niños y niñas de calle.

 

42a5e7f6-dd60-4b02-98fd-08efe1d96314.jpgEscuchando a la historia sobre la fundación trabajando por la niños y niñas de calle.

41b99c22-3eef-47d9-a97b-f651a3298362.jpgel program voluntariado tuvo lugar durante la noche.
imageMis amigos, Rinzin de Bhutan  y Sunindu de Sri Lanka listos para dar el pan.
imageLa gente de Calle comiendo el pan felizmente 
imageMi amigo de Bhutan Rinzin sirviendo aguapanela.

 

Muchas gracias Señor Victor H. Fernández, Coordinador del Proyecto Social, y todos estudiantes de ICESI por tomar la iniciativa de organizar este excelente evento y por hacer parte de este gran programa. Muy Apreciado! 

Everyone Has a Story to Tell!

“Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone is a writer, some are written in the books and some are confined to hearts.”
― Savi Sharma
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Sharing and Inspiring!
Everyone has a story to tell. All you have to do is write it. But it’s not that easy. – Frank McCourt
Everyone has a story! Everyone has an ambition! Irrespective of places, cultural background, and different lifestyle, we all possess a story within ourselves. The stories can vary significantly: the stories about our origin, what we like, what we dislike, and about our hobbies, passion. My time in Africa Volunteering at a school with the students from different backgrounds have made me understand and realize the power of stories. When volunteering in Korando, I was exposed to different stories that took me on an emotional rollercoaster ride. It made me happy to see my students learning the importance of computer, but also baffled me to see how much these students have to walk to reach school every day. I was filled with complete despondent when I would hear about parents abandoning their own children. Other times, profound surprise took me over to learn about the resilience of the students to overcome the difficulties in their life. Every day, I would come across different stories that made me realize the power of storytelling because while they were sharing, I was learning! No matter the circumstances, stories have an inevitable power to move you, excite you, shock and most importantly, inspire you! While it’s absolutely important to remember the very fact that each and every person in this world possess a story and that we should respect, and acknowledge the differences we possess.
 “People need stories. Stories of love, hope, survival, wisdom and sometimes pain. Maybe you don’t tell them the full truth; maybe you tell them lies. But what is this world? A lie in itself.”
― Savi Sharma
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I want to be a soccer player!
Back in Korando, I made my student write about who they are, and what are their ambitions and life goals.  Acknowledging everyone’s individual life with their different circumstances and stories made my experience in Korando more fulfilling and enriched with experiences that have made me more grateful today.
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I love helping my parents!
My motive behind having made them write and share their stories was to expose them the confidence to speak freely and to accept one’s own stories and feel proud of them. When I saw student writing vivid details, and sharing their candid, open and vulnerable stories, I had tears. One of the students wrote about how her mother died because she was given the wrong medicine in the hospital, and now she aims at becoming a better doctor in her country so that no child has to lose her mother to blunder mistakes like taking wrong medicine. Once she was done sharing, a complete silence followed her, and to my complete surprise, the other student started clapping and everyone followed him.
Writing, and sharing our stories can have many positive ripple effect among our listeners! Sharing the most candid, and defining moments of your life can build better relationships, and connect us in a deeper way with those around us.
And this teachable moment I got to share with the students at Korando!
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My name is Brian!
Sharing stories is not about exposing our secrets, it’s about understanding the different life events that we go through, and appreciating the experiences and life events that have helped us be shaped into the person we are today!
Thank you all, for sharing and Inspiring me!
“everyone has a story. It might or might not be a love story. It could be a story of dreams, friendship, hope, survival or even death. And every story is worth telling. But more than that, it’s worth living.”
― Savi Sharma
“Every day, I woke up; I tried to find reasons to live. Every night, when I slept, I tried to find reasons to not die. Every moment, I tried to find reasons to hope, dream and love.”
― Savi Sharma
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Get ready to be INSPIRED!
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INSPIRING Life-Experience! Asante Sana Korando

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” — William Shakespeare
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Love! Love! Love!
While traveling abroad in itself encompasses uncertainty and ambiguity, there are few things that are bound to expose certainty: volunteering abroad is one of the experiences that reinvigorates you to a new altruistic direction. After spending a month in Africa, Kisumu, Kenya, I have been reciprocated with some priceless lessons! Most people know Korando as an educational institution, that caters towards providing quality education for the children of Kisumu, who cannot afford the price of education. That’s exactly what Korando is. In addition to that, for me, Korando embodies a family where there are sheer love, compassion and the strong sense of camaraderie. A family where all the children come together on Sunday’s to sing together, where kids in each classroom share the common interest and love for football. A family where girls stand in hand to hand to kick the football when they confidently compete against boys. A family where students warmheartedly open their hands and hearts to visitors, and volunteers. A family where, the meaning of family is redefined as Mama Dolphin, the founder of the school, gives students new life by providing the education, shelter, and most importantly a love and care, every child gets from their mother.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” — Winston Churchill
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Photogenic bunch of adorable toddlers!
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.” — Muhammad Ali
Every morning as I go for a run, tentatively around 6:30 am, I am greeted by familiar faces, big smiles and warm handshakes and constant hand waves. These are the students that I see on a daily basis at school, and most of them, I even take classes. The school starts early for them, at 6:00 and over the time, I sprint past them, a breeze of happiness surmounts me, an euphoria bestows upon my heart as I see these students saying, “See you in the computer class” or “We have a PE, creative arts class today”. My heart would leap with happiness when I see students getting excited about my class, and that automatically propelled me to work harder to make the class fun and exciting. The class at Korando would last until late at 5:30 pm, and sometimes it baffles me to comprehend the amount of time these students spent at school. Initially, it baffled me, but with each passing days, my admiration and respect just get deeper as  I was thoroughly impressed by the sheer dedication catered towards education. However, it compelled to feel despondent for the students as these students are taught, based entirely on the idea of repetition. There is a change that I can observe as the incoming volunteers, are helping to break that conventional method, and it’s amazing to see students and teachers actively participating to make the education system better.
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Habari!!!!! We definitely know how to paint, don’t we! Khristina 
When I look back at retrospect, my life in Korando life can be safely segregated into two different phases. Firstly, my time at school as a volunteer/teacher where I would be in the classroom, teaching computer lessons, conducting P.E. classes, conducting writing programs. The second phase is the time after school hours, where I spent most of the time with the residential students, joining them in the evening prayer class, spending time with them during their study hours, having a family dinner together on Thursday. Most of the night after the homework session, I would go into the room of the students, and we would interact with different topics. We would interact about our different lives, my life as a student in Nepal, India,  share our interest, life goals and get engrossed talking about serious topics like politics, and philosophy and bible, of course. One of the few things that fascinated me the most was to see the profound faith the students have on god and to see how big of an influence it has dwelled upon the lives of the students. On one hand, it forbids the student a freedom of expression or voices their opinion openly, as the students repeatedly have this innate habit of referencing bible in most of the conversations I had.  On the other hand, it’s amazing to see how the deep faith in God and religion have given these students an optimistic outlook towards life, and have given them the hope and positivity, irrespective of having endured several life struggles. It was absolutely impressive to see students thriving, and see them smile their hearts out. It’s a sight I will never be able to forget!
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Hola! With Angela, one of the core supporter of BetterMe. Thank you, Angela, for everything!
One of the things that I really enjoyed was spending the time with students over the weekend break, especially Sunday afternoon. Normally, I’d be working on my own computer, and the students would just pop up, with an indication for asking the question, and I would just let the students do their own work, doodle, scribble, color or write something on the papers I would give them. The students, as obedient as they always are, would sit quietly on the fancy wooden chair, and start crafting their masterpiece. I was so impressed by the student when they would draw a house, flowers, or even just doodle on the paper, or write something about me, something silly and humorous. I wish I could have done this more often, as most weekends I was out of the school. It was a real delight to see students using their time productively, and use their imagination and creativity to produce something that was praise-worthy.
“If our hopes of building a better and safer world are to become more than wishful thinking, we will need the engagement of volunteers more than ever.” — Kofi Annan
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United by Hearts!
Initially, it was hard to connect with the students while taking classes with them. A student in the class would give me a blank stare, as I spoke. I speak pretty fast, and that fast-paced speech was getting my way while I was communicating with the students. So as a remedy to that problem, I learned to slow down my speech, enunciate my word, and fairly keep my sentences short and simple, but straight to the point. Inside the classroom, I learned to be patient and constantly check on my students to make sure my students understood what I taught. They were generally shy, but I made sure that I keep repeating to make them say something. Writing instructions, and using the board, as well as using props was one strategy that I implemented to ensure clarity, and teach in a more interactive manner.
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Mama Dolphin! Founder of Korando, and a woman with sheer resilience and strength! She has the biggest heart in this world.
There is a tremendous strength that is growing in the world through… sharing together, praying together, suffering together, and working together.
― Mother Teresa
Each and every student I played alongside at Korando, I was constantly reminded that everyone in this world deserves a safe and secure place, a place where they can safely call their home, a place to seek comfort. And Korando was that place where everyone was welcomed to seek asylum, and enjoy the safety, comfort, respect, that the foundation bestows. Immersing myself in this family, was a small but meaningful contribution to a larger context of the societal obstacle.

To learn more about BetterMeKneya
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Best Team in the world! The bubbly. passionate and energetic Sandy with the sweet and graceful Elise
If you are in urgent need of the mind-boggling life experience, click here to get inspired
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The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust: Unforgettable Experience.

My visit to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has to be one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life, and it could not have come at a better time. As I lumbered through the Nairobi National Park towards the elephant orphanage, I was welcomed by buffaloes, sheep, and goats with Kenya’s skyline illuminated behind, a sight I will never forget!

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Karibu! Welcome to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Misson Statement of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust embraces all measures that compliment the conservation, preservation, and protection of wildlife. These include anti-poaching, safeguarding the natural environment, enhancing community awareness, addressing animal welfare issues, providing veterinary assistance to animals in need, rescuing and hand rearing elephant and rhino orphans, along with other species that can ultimately enjoy a quality of life in wild terms when grown.

After entering the orphanage trust at noon, I was escorted to a small elephant viewing area, that was centered on a muddy open field. I gazed in anticipation, and a moment later, the animal handlers entered the field, followed by a procession of twelve baby elephants. The elephants made their way towards the open field and I was surprised to see how each elephant reacted instinctively to the instructions of their keepers, trusting them completely. The baby elephants were fed by the handlers which were so heartwarming to see! 

“Mammals require three essentials in life, identity, stimulation, and security, and by far the most important of these three psychological cornerstones is identity.”
― David Sheldrick

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Feeding Milk to the elephant! A heartwarming sight to behold 

The little elephants started to romp around the field like toddlers, after finishing their milk. While the elephants gamboled, the keepers explained how individual orphans were rescued from their respective areas. These elephants had suffered through calamities like wildfires, flood, and most-importantly human-wildlife trafficking. Most of them had been orphaned as a repercussion of poaching to fulfill the contentment of the growing demand for ivory. At that moment, I was filled with despondency, subdued by hearing the struggles of these poor creatures. The loss of their habitat due to deforestation and population pressure as well as the negative impact of the humans to their habitat had caused the segregation of elephant herds, thus exposing the young, weak and vulnerable to the verge of extinction.


I was so happy to hear that the orphaned elephants were assigned names, one that I really liked was Kuishi which means ‘to live’ in KiSwahili.

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Selfie with Beautiful Kuishi

 


 

Each keeper is assigned fulltime, to monitor the growth, and maintain the proper health and wellbeing of the elephant. Every time, I see a keeper playing with the elephants, I can see their love and care. As Kuishi drank the milk, from the keeper’s hand, I witnessed contentment in her eyes, as she blinked gracefully and stared at the keeper for a few seconds. Aah! It was just beautiful. Kuishi then rolled herself in mud, and wagged her tail, making us all smile. After witnessing the keepers’ dedication, I learned that we all have a bigger responsibility, not simply to observe and learn about the orphaned elephants and take pictures but to perform an integral role by taking an initiative and contributing in every way possible to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

 

“To be a baby elephant must be wonderful. Surrounded by a loving family 24 hours a day…. I think it must be how it ought to be, in a perfect world.”
― Daphne Sheldrick

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Strolling around! 

 

While the baby elephant continued playing, the commentator gave a short heartwarming explanation on the hardship endured by these elephants. It was painful for me to listen, as I would never have imagined that even such magnificent creatures like elephants would have to experience the consequences of human folly. It’s not just us that fall prey to injustice! I have to admit, I had tears in my eyes, as I stood there listening to the commentator speak. It was agonizing for me to hear Human activities and their interaction with nature sadly leads to all animals being on the brink of extinction. It just shows the paucity of education, and awareness that needs to be generated among the communities about the significance of wildlife.

Amidst hundreds of spectators who have come to view the baby elephants at David Sheldrick, I sensed a flicker of hope. It became evident to me, to realize just how much love, care and patience it must take to monitor these vulnerable creatures, and David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a testament that manifests the bold conviction of hope. It is also a reminder to all the humans, that everybody has a part to play, to educate, share and a be a voice for the voiceless. I also feel so grateful to have learned and understood the significance of being aware and conscious of events that occur in the world, that gives you a perspective about life, about suffering and about the altruistic, and benevolent efforts that are being taken to safeguard the wildlife.

 


Some more pictures to enjoy this regal creature!


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Time for Home!

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My Journey: From the Himalayas to Kenya!

Jambo, Hujambo from Kenya!

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Sharing a smile with the kids at Nairobi, Kenya!

 

I have always been enthralled by the idea of traveling to Africa and have developed a particular fascination for Kenya. Kenya is a country that is in constant transition. It has ascended from the brackish uninhabited swampland to a thriving city, which never seems to sleep and stop. As I began researching the possibility of traveling to Africa, I was intrigued to hear about wildlife in Kenya, and stories of people protecting wildlife, and they also tried their best to improve education. Not many people from Nepal travel to this part of the world, especially not people of my age and many haven’t even heard of Kenya, which is very astounding, considering that the whole territory of Africa can easily fit in giants like United States of America, China, and India.  This was a huge challenge and I was inbound for the adventure since it was my first time traveling with a purpose and responsibility that excited me: to volunteer in an environment that was completely different from the environment I am familiar with.

 

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KICC  Tower (Kenyatta International Conference Centre), 2nd Tallest Building in Nairobi.

 

Before commencing on my journey, I invested a good amount of time poring over the travel websites, and magazines to comprehend the perfect way to start a volunteering adventure in Africa. However, I got stuck with the usual recommendations to be careful with theft, and pickpocketing that wasn’t not helping me prepare at all. After days of viewing and reading similar stories of unbearable heat, and advice to carry sunscreen and to be careful of pickpocketing, I decided to just stick to my own plan. The constant news of epidemic and disease in Africa kept me alert. But above all this, I was excited and eager to witness the grand silhouettes of giraffes against Nairobi sunset, the scrumptious African delicacies, and to have a tête-à-tête with people, hear their stories, and share my rich Himalayan culture.

 


You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’
Eleanor Roosevelt


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The scorching heat beat down on my thin shirt mercilessly as I arrived in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. It permeated into my skin, drenching me completely. Amidst hundreds of travellers scurrying with their belongings, I caught the sight of a familiar looking hotel chauffeur, with a bright yellow signboard, “Welcome to Kenya, Tsewang Nuru Sherpa” He stood there completely clueless about who I was with my unusual features as is, (apparently everyone in Africa thinks that I am Chinese, Japanese or Korean:P). I’m certain that, he was expecting someone important to show up, wearing a smart black suit, or so I imagined. Instead, I appeared, with my leafy shorts and sweaty t-shirt, I, grinning cheerfully.

Nairobi feels like a  city so ancient, that you can feel its past histories lingering through the old cemented brick-walled streets, well-preserved around gigantic museums, and its multi-ethnic Kenyan culture reflected on the brightly-colored ensemble people proudly wear. And yet it’s so cosmopolitan that you can have internet access at the reach of your device, something that baffled me. Adorned with the sky-high modern skyscrapers, advanced technology, and enjoyable recreational centers, I found everything I needed in Nairobi.

 


As Anthony Bourdain, proudly said, “If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food”.


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Standing tall at the KICC  Tower (Kenyatta International Conference Centre)

 

As I walked around the city, I was mesmerized by the energy that surrounded it, and the deeper I ventured, I heard people say,  “Chinese, Ching-Chang, Kung fu master.” People approached me, smiling cheesily trying to sell their safari tickets. It seems like being a tourist with Chinese features has its own setbacks. But I smiled back and enjoyed the strong roasting smell of cassava, an African delicacy, and fresh flowers. It seduced me, but also left me feeling a little angry! Traffic howled in all directions, with cars wailing and thrumming as it passed by and I heard roaring laughter of men from conversations along the sidewalks, the occasional blaring of music from nearby shops, outweighed the whisper of the wind and I wasn’t sure if I missed it.

 

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From New-York to Nairobi! Meeting Mwende, my friend from Nairobi.

The more time I invest traveling, I always have epiphanies with new places and new experiences. I have realized that the world is bigger than my small home with prayer flags facing the Boudhanath stupa. I know so little of the world and cultures around me and  I feel enlightened when I travel– to realize and believe that there is no final resting of the mind, no end to my destination, and no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom, at least for me, signifies realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I still have yet to go……..

 

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Beautiful Nairobi Skyline!

 

On The Trail Of Peseverance!

Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.

Walt Whitman

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Namaste! Welcome to CHITLANG.
A refreshment night at Chitlang was an impromptu trip I embarked along with my friends with an inquisitive endeavor. One of the sole purposes of this trip was to get away from the monotony of the regular class schedule and rejuvenate on the tranquility of nature’s wilderness. This trip also challenged my physical endurance, and I’m someone who likes to challenge myself to the extent of my optimum potential.
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Walk to remmeber!
As the hike was commenced from Godam (13.4Km from Kathmandu), I was treated with natures bazaar. Proudly standing trees greeting me on my way to the village as well as helping me to shade my exhaustion away. The muddy trail was bumpy, it was tiresome but the joy of seeing them from the top was just incredible with the contentment of an accomplishing something detestable. As I paved my way up, I could feel my heart rate speed up and my endorphins flowing. With my body completely drenched by sweat, I prodded along with my pals giggling on the jokes that were a respite from the grueling uphill. I could see a view of mountains but all in blurry panoramic. I realized I was still miles away from the ascent. A sudden blow of crisp and cold breeze outweighed all the sluggishness. I was pumped to walk even further just to get the perfect snapshot of that blurry view. I was exhausted, my legs felt like a stubborn dog but my heart was nudging me to move further and faster. After few hours of continuous hiking, the clouds abandoned the mountain. The scorching heat of sun unraveled our tedious walk and welcomed us with the breathtaking view of  mountain ranges. It made me nostalgic as I reminiscence my childhood days where my carefree nature was at its best, always running, hopping notoriously.
Wilderness is  not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.
–Edward Abbey
The hike ended at 4:15pm when we successfully made our way to the resort. The resort we stayed was on the lap of terrace hill, accompanied by the trees of pear. There were tents, small huts, mud houses: all ready to serve us and we were desperate to dive into a deep slumber. But, we were still alive in our hearts and spirits to enjoy and grasp everything this small village had to offer. A light stroll around the village along with the view of sunset romanticized our evening. Yes, how can we forget the weather? Contrary to my expectation, the weather was inhospitable. It was bitterly cold. The camp fire came as a lightning bolt to comfortably shelter us in its beaming heat.  Unlike the crispy cold, the heat was amiable. Well, the perks of having friends who are always hyper to entertain you,I know exactly how that feels.  The combination of the campfire with the acoustic songs engrossed everyone in a very relaxing mood.
Chitlang is a small village in Makwanpur district, encompassed by the rich vegetation and greenery. It is about 22 km away from Kathmandu Valley towards the southwest direction. This place shelters the first cheese factory of Nepal. Apart from the rich newer culture, this place also provides asylum to around 160 species of flora and fauna. 
Chitlang was cold, but amidst all the difficulties it surely gave us one of the wonderful memories we’ll always cherish.  Thank you Chitlang and kudos to all the organizer right from the student bodies to all the staff of Resort for their patience and bearing all our mischievousness.
I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.
Rosalia de Castro
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“It`s not how old you are, it`s how you are old.”  Jules  Renard
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Women of STRENGTH and DETERMINATION!
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Companion to Quench my Thirst!

Photo Credit : Zenish Shrestha Instagram account: crzyzenn 

Thank You for Reading!
Gracias 

MERIT360

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CLIMATE EXPRESS!!!! SDG13
Merit 360 felt like rollicking back in the childhood days where we are like a sponge, where our inquisitiveness is at the highest level and our mischievous nature is inevitably portrayed. On the first day when we left for Pennsylvania from New York, I was befuddled. There was an amalgamation of emotions running in my nerves. Initially, I sensed cold breeze of pandemonium attack. I only saw and felt hands coming in towards me. As I hesitantly paved my way and started interacting with other delegates, I found my solace amidst everyone’s presence. My excitement knew no demarcation when I would happily introduce myself. We were so engrossed in introducing and sharing our common topics that a 4-hour bus ride quickly swept away. The program was nestled in the exotic location of Pennsylvania, totally hidden in the midst of wilderness. Indian head camp as the name suggests itself was our home for the next 2 weeks.

 

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BEST TEAMMATES EVER EVER EVER !!!!

 

Every day during Merit 360 felt like traveling the world. Every day, every hour you come across people from different nations with their amazing stories that are worth listening and sharing. One day you hear about the amazing AISEC stories in Netherlands and the next day you’re fascinated to bewitch the story of a 4th-year university student who cycled all the way from Nova Scotia, Canada to Connecticut, USA. You find yourself in the group of Southampton (university of Southampton) whose strong sense of camaraderie will amaze you and you surely do not want to miss the jazzy fashion sense and energetic dance moves of my African friends. Whether it’s the cheerfulness, confidence, and hard work of my Asian friends or the intellectual ingenuity of my pals from South America, you get to witness and  absorb the powerful inspiration among theses diversities. We were all from 85 countries with different culture and lifestyle. Yet we were there, united by common passion and hunger to drive change. It was the sheer motivation we received from each other that inspired us to wake up every day with a purpose in our life and with an altruistic responsibility to accelerate the path while making this world a better place.

 

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Apart from the daily tete-a-tete with the APEs, we also got the opportunity to interact with the influential leaders who are experts in their own game. Each and every speaker, from the charismatic leader Bernie Hollywood to the inspirational Terry Mollner, from the Wanderbriefers (Mark Van Der Heijden and Valentijn Van Santvoort) to the Googley man himself, Keith Weisberg and of course the youngest among all Patrice Madurai inspired us to dream. There are many speakers whom I have not listed here as I have to be aware on the lengthiness of this piece. I have to say, everyone made us re-think our purpose for our life. They pushed us to be the ultimate go-getters. Highlighting on the powerful virtue of voicing our opinion and on the true essence of story telling, they gave us the sheer motivation to be the catalyst for change. My encounter with all these speakers has generated the inevitable paroxysm of hope, a warm feeling of comfort on my quest to conquer  my dream. The connection I have made with all the speakers is definitely one of the major highlights for me and I truly, eternally and completely feel very blessed to have the pleasure of connecting and sharing my small Himalayan world with all these prominent leaders.
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Throughout the course of 16 days, I have reluctantly allowed myself to be challenged, asked questions and even get offended. I have been on a voyage to explore my weaknesses and have succeeded in discovering the hidden potential of greater strengths. It has been an incredible 16 days filled with the apotheosis of passion, impact driven initiatives and the dawn of an eternal friendship. I’m sure for me as well as everyone, applying to this program legitimately has been the wisest decision we have ever taken in our lives. Merit 360 is over, but this is just the beginning of our new lives. The actions, impact, and friendship we have nurtured in these 16 days will stay for years to come.
One world, one community, and one family.
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CLIMATE TREE!
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All set to present our idea at the UN Headquarter.

 

Photo Credit: Edo Landwehr

HIKING to Ranikot

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We are ready to walk!!!

14th April is the day I will always remember, I will always cherish. Reason being very simple! On the very day bunch of us backpacked to hike from Suryabinayak to Ranikot. This place is situated at the outskirts of Kathmandu valley, in the neighboring city known as Bhaktapur. The program was organized to explore the biodiversity and also to reduce the monotony from the regular class environment. In addition, the program also included an interaction session with local people to understand the ways of conserving and mobilizing local resources at the local level.

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SELFIEEEEEEE TIME!

 

Suryabinayak temple of Bhaktapur was our starting point. Despite the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu  traffic, the bus managed to drop us at 8:07 am at the temple. It took 1 hour and 37 minutes for us to reach the mid-point, Ghyampde dada. On the way to dada, we observed the gigantic hills beneath the clear blue sky. The morning chilly air, the sonorous chirping of birds and murmuring of animals certainly relieved us. Standing proudly at the alleviation of around 1500m, this place inhabits light population of local newars. This dada is surrounded by panoramic view of natural beauty blessed with various rare species such as Himalayan Rhododendron, Himalayan Yew, Nigala, Rhamus Triquetor. I must say this place is perfect to quench the thirst of bewitching sight of the world famous mountain ranges like Kanchenjuga and Mt. Everest.We stopped for a while to rake rest. Regardless of our endless exhaustion, we were busy taking selfies and photographs of the magnificent scenery and also utilized our time in interacting with local people.

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I’m always the last one 

It was 10:03 am when we started hiking from Ghyampe dada to our final destination. Instead of taking a normal route, we decided to explore the forest so we took short cut. Pretty ironic as it sounds, it took longer for us! We followed the direction of the ways inside the jungle but at several occasions, we were compelled to stop by the junction that was further separated into 4 different directions. Those were the times when we had to exhibit out intellectual power and we did too. We managed to decipher the inconceivable puzzle and proudly headed towards our destination. We slipped, we fell, we got rashes, and we were exhausted, yet we had the unquenchable thirst to reach the summit.

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Morning silhouettes are always my favorite.

Believe me or not, The way to Ranikot is dusty(you wouldn’t want to dirty your favorite designer branded clothes) but it absolutely offers the great panoramic view of Himalayas and the bird eyes view of whole Kathmandu Valley. I must say, in a very short distance as you start to hike up, one can get a chance to see and differentiate the lifestyle of the urban city and rural village. The pleasant and calm environment of Ranikot heartily welcomes peace and nature lovers. Eventually, at around 11:40 we were victorious-we reached Ranikot. Ranikot is like a Hindu bride, covering her face with the blanket of luscious greenery. Situated at the pristine location of Bhaktapur, Ranikot shelters wide range of people, from the business oriented people to the laid-back farmers. The panorama view resort was our nest since we enjoyed our scrumptious potluck party at the resort followed by a short dance program. The delicious food rejuvenated our energy to strike some of our signature moves. Everyone shared huge roar of laughter on witty jokes and thoroughly enjoyed the serenity of the valley too. As the saying goes, “Everything great thing must come to an end”, we unwillingly decided to hike back at around 1:30 pm. The downhill hike was much easier and was accompanied by never ending jokes, stories and reflections. Everyone shared. Everyone laughed. Everyone enjoyed. The college bus was on our rescue when we reached the temple, what a relief!

The hiking definitely examined our endurance and perseverance. We nailed it! Despite the weariness, rejuvenated. I feel very happy for organizing it and pulling of such an major event. Thanks to my classmates as well. Yayy!!! We SLAYED it.

Enjoy some GREEN shots!

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Thanks for stopping by! Please feel free to share your amazing hiking stories down on the comment section.

Catch you up soon!

Salut, Adieu 

 

REFLECTION on Agra Fort.

On my to Agra Fort, I felt like I was inside the warm auditorium watching an 8D film. The cold chilly wind in the dawn shook me up into the wakefulness with a realm of an excitement. As we commenced the drive my eyes constantly interacted with never ending roads. The conversations went on and on as road didn’t come to a stopping point. The constant honking and beeping of cars traveling back Delhi reflected the divine pleasure they had on their stay at Agra. The lush green and brightly colored paddy fields catalyzed my energy. I could imagine myself wondering aimlessly on those paddy fields or maybe just reading or even counting stars in the night time. My thoughts wondered with the anticipation and with an eager enthusiasm to visit the fort. I allowed myself to lose in the world of an imagination, cultivating a dream of me in place of Akbar in his robust and dynamic character.  

unnamed                              On my way to Agra: Pondering, Thinking, Observing, Exploring..

At Agra, I noticed myself doodling on the ambiguity of the title word “FORT”, followed by my profound obsession with Mughals aesthetic austerity. I believe the word “FORT” disfavors the Agra Fort. The word “FORT” evokes a sense of military ambiance. This was my initial mindset as we entered the world of unbelievable designs. Guess what, I was right because my guide highlighted on the same issue, that this place was supposed to be called a palace (Well, what can is say.. I’m a critical thinker #kidding).

Believe me or not, the entire place encapsulates a grand Persian feature. Thus, I’d mind calling it as Persian Palace. A palace full of bright and sultry clouds with proudly standing pillars. I must say, this powerful fortress of red sandstones in itself is a book full of dark and deep mysteries, fables and of course a reflection of Akbar’s personality: Robust, Dynamic and Imaginative. As I entered this extravagant world of Mughals magnificence, I was mesmerized to behold the perfection of the beauty bestowed upon a fort. The entrance gate the amazing silhouette framing the beautiful interiors, amazing marble work. The Mughals obsession and the highest level of craftsmanship is just I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E. I don’t know how and where on earth did they had the money and the time for anything other than construction as I believe the investment manpower to create such a place have been astronomical.
Huge SHOUT-OUT to my  high-school:http://www.taktseschool.org
Huge SHOUTOUT to the amazing photographer, Yawan Rai.
@yawanrai on Instagram or yawan2010@hotmail.com
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I’m superrrrr excited!!!! I can’t wait to enter …. Come on guys!
12341444_932000583520773_4941872724881464287_n.jpgMr.Sam. One of the reasons why I enjoyed this trip. Loved his company (Sikkimese Akbar) Thanks for joining us.
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Thanks, Mr.Yawn. Just LOVED this picture. what a great silhouette!!!!
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     Sonam Phuntsho                                                Tshering Tenzing
: Posing and clicking.. what a combination!
These two definitely added spark to my tour. Thanks, guys!
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        Relaxing under shade!!!!!!!
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Thanks, guys for bearing with me. Catch you all in my next blog…

Salut. adieu !!