President and Sister Dunn

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Elephant Whisperer

I am fortunate to belong to not one, but two book clubs.  Even though I am on sabbatical for three years from attendance, i still receive their correspondence and voting process for new books for the year. 
I thought it was wonderful and amazing that both groups of women that I love, independently selected to read The Elephant Whisper as part of this year's book reads. They even both selected to read it as the first book of the year.  So, in honor of my dear friends in North America, I am offering this as a recommend to anyone interested in a most compelling true story, that gives you a close up look into the heart of Africa.

My sister, Pam gave the audio book to me before I left and I found it to be not only a wonderful book, but an inside look at this amazing continent and the animals and people that inhabit it.

I hope if you haven't read this book, you wil get it. I would recommend you get it on audio tape and listen to it instead of reading it. The South African accent brings the story more alive.

If time allows, I would invite you to watch two short videos' before or during your read.They will add to your sense of the book and it's message.  Even if you have seen these videos' before, you will find a renewed sense of the messages in the book, to revisit both of these inspiring video's.

So, here are my suggestions.

Take time to listen to this 12 minute TED talk by Boyd Varty about Africa and what we can learn from the phrase "Umbuntu". Boyd and his family have spent their lives in Africa, protecting animals and  running an animal reserve. His perspective of Africa, Nelson Mandela and connectedness will add a richness to the read of Elephant Whisperer. The video is a Ted Talk and one that I heard on the plane ride over here in June.   I loved hearing it after I read Elephant Whisperer.

Next, take 8:24 minutes to watch this amazing video from Youtube called "Battle at Kruger"   Be patient, as it starts slow. The filmers do not know what they have landed upon. It may seem like a family home movie, but stay tuned in and watch the action that unfolds. It may not be with elephants, but it could be. The connection among animals is strong. They are loyal and protective of their young in a most profound way.  You will glean much from this real, action scene of animals in the wild.
It will give you an amazing feel of the Umbuntu among all God's creations, as Boyd Varty has pointed out:

Last of all, it has been fun to bring the elephant into our South Africa mission logo. Of course President Dunn has brought his creativity to "bear" (no pun intended) and picked the elephant as the symbol of our mission. He put a logo on the mission door, on the wall and on every page and letter that gets sent out.

Mission Symbol:
"Many African cultures revere the African Elephant as a symbol of strnegth and power. It is also praised for it's size, longevity, stamina, mental faculties, cooperative spirit and loyalty.  South Africa uses elephant tusks in their coat of arms to represent wisdom, strength, moderation and etenity."

"The Elephant signifies strength, royalty, dignity, patience, wisdom, longevity and happiness. A large symbol of good luck, especailly when it's trunk is pointed up. For Christians, the elphant is a symbol of clarity and temperance and signifies Christ trampling a sperent."

The Elephant was the first "Big 5" animal that we saw live in the wild here. We had not been in Kruger National Park for 10 minutes when we saw them walk across the road right in front of us.  It was amazing to us and now each time we are treated by another sighting, it is just as exhilarating.

They are so amazing to me and I love seeing how they stay together, protect their young and show you who is boss if you get too close. Attached are a few of the pictures we have got of them. I hope I have many more before I come home. 

1 comment:

  1. Patti Clements just told me about this!! Do you have it there so I can borrow I when I come?!