Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Baby Elephant Lost

This is a picture of a baby elephant trying to wake up its dead mother. She died following translocation to a larger game park in Kenya but baby elephants are orphaned all the time through poaching, illness, natural disaster and accidents (like falling into an open drain and becoming stuck). Thankfully, this baby elephant was rescued by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust which runs a very professional Elephant and Rhino orphanage (which we have added to our list of Charities and you could too!).

I became empassioned about baby elephants after the most traumatic dentist appointment every, this past Tuesday. I went in to my new space-age spa-like dentist for a major filling. It was almost a crown and took about an hour and a half. As they began they turned on the flatscreen TV about the chair and offered me headphones to watch the BBC Life on Earth series. I have seen ads for this on TV and it is truly stunning in HD so I agreed. It was a bad idea.

I have never been good at nature shows. I know that you are always rooting for the underdog. We love the wolf when we have met the wolf pups (with sweet names) and urge the doe to stumble to save the wolf pups from starvation. But come the time we meet the cariboe who struggle on their long migration and we will the evil wolves to tire to let the spindle legged caribou baby find it way back to its mother. After seeing about 10 minutes of one of these shows I am always reduced to trauma and anger (anger that the wildlife photographers and David Attenborough are so manipulative and trauma at the reality of Life Is Suffering while we remain attached to it and our babies.

So, I cope through a few gruesome tragedies until we meet the elephants of the Kalahari desert who make a migration over 100s of miles in the dry season (starving, dying of thirst and assailed by dust storms that blind the little baby elephants) to the okavango delta which floods the desert in the annual rainy season.

We meet a mother and baby who are lost in a dust storm but find their way back. Then the group moves on. But there is another baby elephant who has become disoriented in the dust. He has lost his mother and when the dust settles he cannot see her. Instead, he finds her trail and as we pan back from the helicopter we see him setting out across the vast desert following her footsteps. The voiceover continues "sadly, in this case he is following her footsteps in the wrong direction".

This tragic futility is very very sad. I wanted to rescue the baby elephant and all my feelings of protecting Wren were transferred to protect that lost elephant following the wrong way. I felt Wren was out in the desert and although my mouth was trapped open by that horrible dental contraption my tears ran down under the sunglasses and were wet in my ears.

So, we are now supporting baby elephant orphanages and I am never going to watch those awful nature shows again. And Wren is never going hiking in the Kalahari.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Much many more

It has been only 3 days since my last post but I am overwhelmed with loose ends and stories untold. I feel as if I am sitting in my kitchen with 20lbs of apples and not sure what to make of them.

Ok, here are some little story-pies:

  • I went to an indian/middle-eastern grocery store today and bought mango chutney and mint chutney and ingredients for a new dal. It is made with squash and chicken and fresh fenugreek seeds and ground fenugreek. I am going to try and grow some fenugreek seeds to make leaves for the indian day in a few weeks. I love mint chutney. Nothing is wrong in the world when I am eating mint chutney.

  • Wren is recovering from his cold and loves playing with the animals. He spends a lot of time carrying his animals around. He makes them eat things (making a munching noise while pressing their faces into something he imagines to be food), make noises (pigs snort, cows moo sometimes, tigers roar, sheep baa) and they also chase and tickle people. He plays hide and seek with them too. He is a very good mimic. For example, he watched us playing the Clue boardgame and started to roll the dice himself and raise his arms as if going "yeah" when the dice fell.

  • I know I shouldn't but I have been following the carepages of some CHD babies who are awaiting or having surgery:
    Justin's Blog &
    Jacob's carepage = JRHONAKER

  • We went to Wyndi's wedding on Saturday. Wren was surprisingly good and liked to climb up and down the stairs and roam around the room. It was a beautiful wedding at the top of the Columbia tower and the food was delicious. Wren ate a great deal of fruit salad which reminded me to buy him more grapes and pineapple.

  • Mum is travelling somewhere in Africa. According to her itinerary she is in the Orange River Canyon tonight (or this pre-dawn darkness).