Happy Birthday Little One!

Today is Oltaiyoni’s 2nd birthday! 

Firendly Oltaiyoni

Oltaiyoni is a little elephant (whom I foster) who resides at the wonderful David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. At 6 months old, she was “observed on her own near the lodge for a few days with no other elephants around.” and was rescued. To this day, no one knows where her herd is, or what happened. She was later given fluids through an I.V to manage her dehydration levels.

Once she arrived at the trust Oltaiyoni was very fearful of humans who came to close, but she took her bottle without a problem.

Today, Oltaiyoni is a matriarch in the making. She’s always looking out for the little ones (especially Mbegu, a victim of poaching. She was found with a spear wound on her rump by her dead mother) and doesn’t let the bulls bully her or her “babies” around.

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a wonderful place, filled with animals of all shapes and sizes. Warthogs, ostriches, different kinds of antelope, giraffes and more! (The warthogs were like dogs, they just lied in the sun!)

DSC_8083The trust also has a black rhino named Maxwell. He can never leave the trust though, due to him being genetically blind. They’ve tried everything, but they can’t get his sight back. Although, Maxwell has been with the trust since he was a little calf, he’s used to this life and he’s happy.

DSC_8081 When my family and I went there, I was smiling from ear to ear. (Also, I was holding in tears of joy.) Just look at this little one playing with my laces!

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It was truly an incredible experience to see the orphans and the remarkably hard work Dame Daphne Sheldrick has put into this facility. Honestly, she’s one of my heroes. If you would like to help support this amazing place and make a difference in an orphans life, foster an elephant, rhino or even giraffe! You’ll get monthly updates on how your little one is doing, and beautIful art work by Daphne’s daughter.

http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/

Their Twitter is @DSWT, give them a follow as well!

Roaring Silence

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Today, April 16th, we take a silent stand for those whose voices are muffled by those who oppress them.

Today was my first time participating in Me To We’s annual campaign, We Are Silent. As an extremely expressive person, it has been challenging for me to stay silent for a whole day (19hrs down, 5 more to go). Unfortunately, when you’re in high school, you have to make some exceptions. In my grade and also in some clubs I’m actively part of, I have to participate. Therefore, I only wrote things down if necessary. During this day, you do not respond when spoken to, you do not raise your hand to ask a question and you don’t try to attract anyone’s attention. Ultimately, you turn invisible.

That’s how billions of people feel every single day. No one hears them, no one notices them, no one cares about them.

It’s an extremely troubling feeling to experience. Although, it is also so important to know how they feel, so that we can do something about it.

“Today, I am silent for the 14 million girls around the world who are forced to marry before their 18th birthday and as a result, must drop out of school.”

That was my reason to be silent. In the developing world, 1/9 girls are married before their 18th birthday and some child brides are as young as eight or nine. The notion almost always results in the girl’s removal from school. What families don’t realize, is by taking away their daughters education, they are only keeping the cycle of poverty in motion. In some countries, it’s tradition. They believe that by combining two families, there’s more security and income. it also may settle a debt that one family owes to another. Most child marriages almost always result in abusive and sometimes deadly consequences.

If you’d like to learn more on this tragic matter, I urge you to watch this short documentary.

Why are you silent?