Each Journey Begins with that First Step

“Fate rarely calls on us at a time of our choosing…”

After years of outrage over rhino poaching, one day after a teary outburst at the injustice of it all, someone suggested “Why don’t you start a blog?  It’ll at least give you a way to get your feelings out.” A blog? Am I a blogger? What do I say?

After stumbling through the first couple of posts, something clicked.  I wrote, I researched, I advocated…  yet, it wasn’t quite enough.

Then came the suggestion:  “Have you ever thought of starting a non-profit?”

Blogging’s one thing, but a charity? The idea rolled around in my head for a bit (actually violently kicked and screamed through my brain.)  But was there really a choice? I had to do more.

Then came the unexpected trip to Kenya, meeting with Ol Pejeta Conservancy, and my first wild rhino encounter…

Tisha OPC rhino 1

Parked along the dirt road, the guide pointed him out; squinting and shielding my eyes from the sun, I could barely make out a rear leg and tail. My heart raced, but if only he were closer.. He seemed to read my mind (or so I like to think). He suddenly jerked his head up out of the bush, turned our way ,took a couple of steps, then started charging toward us. About 60 feet from us, he stopped.

Perfection! I was filled with pure joy. He stood with his head tilted,ears turning this way and that like little satellite dishes, taking us in; and I did the same; every wrinkle, the curl of his lip, the look in his eye-sketched into my memory. After what seemed an eternity, somehow satisfied, he turned and jogged back toward where he came.

Tisha OPC rhino 2

It was from that moment, I knew there was no turning back. The most gentle, yet feisty, amazing animals who are being killed for nothing. That rhino, every rhino is part of our world, and needs to be here. And I will not stop fighting for them. I will not give in or give up.

After making personal life decisions; selling the house, cashing in my 401K, switching jobs, everything I do centers around saving rhinos; whatever it takes to commit the most time and finances. Fight for Rhinos is MY lifeline.

Each waking moment is spent wracking my brain, trying to come up with two things: how to stop the poaching , and how to make the world wake up and take notice to help us do it.

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When someone finds out I run a “non-profit”, they excitedly ask “Oh! What for?” and I respond ” to protect our rhinos and secure a future for them.” To which I often get a puzzled look and “What?”

It means we have a lot of work to do. Many people have no idea there’s a war going on. A war not just for rhinos, but for our wildlife. Somehow in a small way, I am a part of that now, just as many of you are.

Everyone has their purpose. We are not here by accident. Having spent restless days and nights, wandering through life, I have found mine. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done and ever will do. Each week is a rollercoaster; highs and lows, elation to heartbreak. But I’ve committed my life 100% to the cause, to their survival. However I can help, each rhino, each dollar made toward keeping another one safe, is a victory. It’s what I live for.

Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Each Journey Begins with that First Step

  1. Marla Knight-Dutille

    This is an unbelievable post. So honest, sincere and moving. Thank you so much for what you’re doing. The Try Anything Rhino Project wants to be Fight for Rhinos when it grows up!

    • Thank you Marla! You’re well on the way. Thank you for all you do, so happy to know there are people out there like you!

  2. You are a hero to the animals, especially rhino. Keep doing what you’re doing. No matter how small, you are making a difference.

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