What a happy synchronicity! I received a wonderful email from a blog reader this week, who is also a friend of Nalitu, the 1st elephant orphan I adopted (pictured below.)
It is such a good story. I asked Don for permission to share his letter with you:
"Dear Jaya, Jambo, jambo, jambo. This email proves what a small world we live in. Really small, Jaya ! I hope this will put a little smile on your face and that's why I'm writing. I was part of the travel agent group that rescued little Nalitu in November 2004.
It was an amazing experience and something I will never forget. In fact Jaya I have some of the rescue on my video, but at the time we were not sure what was happening until we saw Nalitu struggling in the Ewaso Nyiro (spelling?) river and all of the adult ellies trying to free her little legs. It was truely amazing watching how all of the elephants reacted to this poor little ellie and the trumpeting noises was deafening. All of the elephants that had already crossed the river all came back to see what was going on. It was then that we realized that Nalitu was in serious trouble. Anyway, to make a long story short, we called (radioed) Nairobi and the Sheldrick Orphanage sent a rescue team and airplane up to the area to rescue Nalitu. It was the same evening we had a travel agent thrown off her camel and dislocate her shoulder. What an evening !
When we finished our 2 week safari I went back to the Sheldrick Orphanage to see Nalitu and except for the "sniffles" she was doing okay and living with a keeper 24 hours a day. They had her separated from the other ellies in a little barn like structure and she was the cutest little elephant you ever saw. I also have a minute of her on video at this visit too. It was only when I got back home to Florida that I found out that Nalitu had passed away and the mild case of sniffles turned into pneumonia. I too was heart broken, Jaya.
During this same trip, I had the pleasure of having dinner at the US ambassadors residence and the HIGHLIGHT was meeting Iain Douglas and Oria Douglas Hamilton. What a thrill for me especially since I have a "crush" on their daughter Saba and told Iain that; he had quite a good laugh. Saba too would have been there but she was filming in Samburu and just could not get back to Nairobi for this dinner. Regardless I was fascinated talking and meeting with the Hamilton's.
I'm currently planning my 4th trip back "home" to Kenya.... I have been going every year now for the last 3 years. Have you seen or been to Loisaba ? Beautiful lodge, Jaya !
Well, I really don't want to keep you but would love to hear back from you and exchange some of our adventures to Kenya. It sounds to me like you love the country and people as much as I do. If it means anything to you I could probably put you in touch with some of the other travel agents who were in on Nalitu's rescue; I'm sure many of them also have pictures they could email to you??? And needless to say, if you have any questions about her rescue as best as I can remember (?) I'd be happy to answer anything.
Hope this email brings some warm thoughts to you and if you have any time I would love to hear from you !!
Kwaheri and very best regards
Don Rubin, Manager
Delray Beach Florida USA"
How synchronistic and lovely. Thank you, Don for sharing your story with us!