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Africa

Heading To Johannesburg…

Posted by Jennifer McCarthy on June 29, 2010 in Africa, Speak! Archive, Travel

Within human nature, there is the seemingly relentless obsession to control and ultimatly change nature. I have had the displeasure of witnessing non-human animals over managed and undermanaged during this conservation revolution by their supposed superiors-human beings. I am a firm believer in overhauling the concept of sole responsibilty and being part of human’s working to understand our own psycholgy and our relationship to the natural world. In my experience, it has been part of our ego to consider ourselves a part from or above what other creatures consider themselves- part of the truest form of reality in the wild.
My neighbor recently found out the hard way that by putting out bird feeders, she had attracted a large redish, black bear who had broken into her car and garage on the hunt for food. Had she called the authorities, the bear would most likely have been shot. It is this concept where in lies the problem: We attract what we don’t want and then after, we manage through euthanasia or other means whether a tree, a monkey or a sacred place. The focus should be on larger enforcements of regulating human being’s actions rather then actions toward our kinship- wild and domestic creatures, plants and the earth itself.
With this said, we go back to a more chaotic and natural environment. Western science is believed that when a certain study is done, it proves in theory, that x will happen. However, I do not believe in many cases that this is true as I have witnessed many unbelievable things that essentially disproved theory x or concept y. In order to be creative, one must be open to the unpredictable and this speaks true of a more Native Science. I have learned a great deal from both forms however, when dealing with nature, it seems like western science is playing more catch up to what Natives have told through stories and experiences from long ago. There is something about being open to all things that flows with the ebb of life and allows one more progress, invention of new ideas and concepts that could very well change the world. I am very excited to unveil a new concept that focusses on this very freedom I have learned from the wild, my friends in the forest and domestic animals.
As I fly to South Africa, I am not in control of the weather, the world or the wild animals of which I will bear the pleasure of witness to. I am open to observation, new ideas and concepts that may change me. I learn just as animals do by soaking up and using all senses to their full capacity. What does this smell tell me? What is that sound? Seeing, touching and being instinctive is being “a part of” the experience.
With this said, I don’t base my knowledge and research on one species but rather mammals, the land and the humans that surround them. This then can be opened up to all things which gives one the ultimate palatte to work from. A whale or a lion for example may just give me a new idea for a horse, dog or even human being. When you allow a river to flow, all things can come out of that river. Fish can spawn, new plants can grown and the river essentially becomes the vein for blood to flow through the land. When you block that river by a dam, new things can’t grow and you have effects to the environment itself. Africa is the vein of life. It is essentially where things started. To not go there would essentially put up a dam in my work and my creativity would be limited. This is the ultimate classroom and the animals, people and earth there are my teachers. I will document my first of many trips here daily. Please enjoy the notes as I report from the field in Mozambique and the struggles to repopulate Gorongosa National Park after a long cival war killed off most of the animals in the area. I will also update you via boat on research to marine life and discussions with local biologists and people working on the ground towards a common goal. As featured recently on National Geographic, Gorongosa was part of a one hour special entitled “Africa’s Lost Eden”. Welcome to a different kind of World Cup adventure from the Southern Hemisphere here in South Africa…
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