"I soon realized that no journey carries one far unless, as it extends into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within."~~ Lillian Smith
I remember it like it happened today, the sights, the sounds, the smells……….and my broken heart. I felt cheated, appalled, nearly sick and very alarmed. I could not even imagine how any of this could have been allowed to happen. Why didn’t some big name NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) have this on their “get it done” list and have boots on the ground here?
It was January....2009, I was on a business trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) Africa with a good friend and business associate who has spent many years in Sub Saharan Africa. We had been invited there to consult with a government about some security related matters. In preparation for this trip we had spent and inordinate amount of time studying intelligence reports and meeting with intel sources about the human atrocities taking place in the eastern DR Congo and other Sub-Saharan countries. So I already had extensive knowledge of the problem.
In the past Patrick, among his other dealings in many African countries, had been heavily involved in humanitarian relief operations and a number of anti-poaching operations having to do with both rhinos and elephants. And oddly enough, we had never really discussed any of his anti-poaching experiences very much! So Patrick proceeded to share some of his many stories with me. They were both fascinating and appalling at the same time. Does that make sense? I was starting to understand how, oddly enough, saving children and elephant poaching had one common denominator. But the elephant poaching problem really hit me when Patrick and I took a long guided drive into the African bush. And nothing opens a persons eyes like a first hand look at the problem....................