Have you noticed it?
You know the old saying, “There’s an Elephant in the Room.” Meaning, there is something in the room everybody notices but no one is talking about! I’m sure you’ve been in a few situations where that has played out in full view. I have too.
Well ……… I don’t know if you’ve noticed the past several months,
but there’s been an Elephant in my room!
I’ve been talking about everything else that seemed more appropriate, current and necessary. But the big grey guy has been looming behind me. It may not have been as obvious to you, but he or she has been trying to escape onto my blog. The dire times we’ve been living in has held him off. I keep pushing him back and bribing him with plenty of thought life.
So, today, let’s … go … there …
For over a year, a trip was planned for a framily (friend/family) wedding. We’ve known this young man’s family before he knew them. They are dear, dear friends: we’ve celebrated nearly every life event together. We were all in no matter when or where.
An eventual decision …
the wedding would be held in the bride’s homeland …
I love seeing new places, so I was ecstatic! Yet, Africa was not on my bucket list. I’d been to Egypt, so had technically covered the continent. I’ve watched African Safari’s, “Out of Africa” a time or two and thought that’s all I’d see of the continent. I never thought I’d go there!
This past January 2020, we went! About 35 of us traveled over to the wedding. The groom’s sister-in-laws planned a two-week trip for all of us from beginning to end!
OH THE PLACES WE SAW!!!
It was thrilling, beautiful, inspiring, spiritual, etc. We did so much and saw so many things … my brain and heart burst just thinking about it!
I am a slow processor, so Covid kind of derailed my trip-processing. I thought I’d slowly introduce you to some of our experiences. They are now part of me and it’s hard hiding Elephants in rooms! Especially the living, breathing, up-close kind.
Meet Madiwa, “Darling” …
This was my first up-close encounter with the grey giants. Madiwa lives at an Elephant Orphanage called Elephant Park, in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa. This refuge rescues injured or mistreated Elephants. They nurse them back to health. They release some back into the wild and some cannot be due to the intense interactions with humans during their restorative process. So, they live on the reserve. Some babies have been born there. They’ve been around for over twenty-five years.
We got to feed the elephants, a big bucket of fruit and then took turns, under direct supervision of the handlers. One at a time, we touched and personally experienced connecting with an elephant.
We were given instructions before we approached Madiwa. The handler told us to watch her feet and move with her if she moves … back away. I was whispering to her as I petted her skin and she turned her head toward me. I backed off, and the trainer said, “No, she likes you. You’re fine!” She did it several times in our personal time together … we connected … like friends.
They could easily injure/kill a human.
- They use the end of their trunk like a hand; it’s wet and slobbery.
- Their skin is rough and tire-like.
- They LOVE food!
- They like interaction, playful, sensitive.
- Did you know they cry? There is a gland on the side of their face that secretes liquid when they are emotional. We saw a wet streak coming down the face of an elephant in the wild. Our guide told us that is considered “elephant tears”, “elephants are emotional animals.” Who knew?
My interaction was an awe-inspiring moment, even spiritual. Thinking about the Creator and these mammoth beings caused a connection with God I hadn’t experienced before. This too was one of His created beings, far different from myself. Being close enough to touch and interact brought new thoughts and feelings I wasn’t expecting! I can’t quite find all the words, even 5 months later.
I found some advice from an Elephant I thought I’d pass on … teachable moments are everywhere …
I’ll share another time about the Elephants we found later in our journey … there’s more.
It’s been my joy to introduce you to the “elephant in my room.“
I’ve been ignoring her long enough!
If ever given the opportunity to go to South Africa, don’t think twice … say YES!!! The 30 hour travel time, one way, is no deterrent … you won’t regret it!!
Any elephants been hiding in your rooms, lately?
Feel free to share with a friend(s).
“Subscribe” on the right or below to have all posts delivered to your email inbox.