Yesterday was an exciting morning for us: Dr.Jane Goodall came for a short visit to the Gallery at the Masai Cafe in Arusha to meet Seppo and get introduced to the work of the Rock Art project. It’s all connected through her Roots and Shoots organization with which the Rock Art Project collaborates in village schools in the Kondoa region.
She is a living legend and for many of us a hero: her name brings up images of a young woman connecting with chimpanzees out in the wild of the Tanzanian forest, and that of a powerful advocate for the protection of wildlife habitat.
What I heard strongly from her was a deep commitment to the fostering of education and personal action of the next generations.
In her speech at St.Constantine’s International School she spoke of hope: that through small individual daily action we can bring about change, to follow your dream and stick with it and to watch for opportunities to propel that dream forward.
It is often through fortunate encounters in combination with reaching for high goals that the next door will open.
My favourite tidbit was a memory she shared of being four years old and hiding under straw in a nesting box in order to watch a chicken lay an egg: finding the answer to her question “how does the egg come out of the chicken?” It illustrates even at that early age her determined character and a curiosity and love for animals.
She changed how people see animals, she inspires women to step out of typical roles, and she now has access to influential circles where she continues the work that began by taking a ship to Africa. Someone in the audience asked about her retirement and who might replace her, and she responded that there are many individual jobs that people are continuing in her place but that no-one would be the next “Jane Goodall” .
I am grateful to have met her and feel inspired to listen for my passion and keep on going with my work. Lets all do our daily piece and see where it will take us.