Posted by: Laura Hartstone | 8 January, 2010

A Day in the Wild

Aloe from Women's Group

Laikipia Wildlife Forum hosted an exceptional day out in the field with the team to give them an opportunity to see several of their project sites. The first was a women’s group who are using two types of aloe to produce soaps and lotions. Though the start up costs are high, the project will hopefully begin to provide the women with a supplemental income as they reach out to the international market.

Team with Women's Aloe Group

The second project visited was a household water catchment system that benefits many members of the community. Using a hand made rain water collection roof and the roof of nearby homes, the initiative is able to provide water to families and crops year round –serving as a lifesaving asset during droughts.

Team at Water Harvesting Site

The team then stopped to look at a newly built (March 2009) elephant fence that is reducing the threat of elephants on the crops and safety of villagers. The fence is monitored by local villages, was built by the village, and has yet to have a problem. It serves as an incredibly important tool to allow villagers to now have a positive attitude towards wildlife.

After visiting the three projects, the team was treated to a game drive through Ol Pejeta Game Reserve where they witnessed zebras, rhino, warthogs, giraffe, elephant, and several other species.

Another big thanks to LWF! We are again astounded by your incredible work and thrilled to be supporting such an incredible organization. Your dedication towards conservation, communities and wildlife is astonishing.

As far as team bonding goes,…”team bonding” is probably an under statement. Besides already sharing heaps of chocolates and nuts with each other, the team has adapted a system called iBelieve. The idea is to focus positive energy to each other and especially those who may be having difficulties for any reason.

The system incorporates handing off a bandana “or band-aid”, that is given to one member at the end of the day who stood out for some reason. Perhaps they needed the band-aid because they weren’t feeling well, perhaps they did something to really make someone feel better, laugh, support them, etc. It can be anything that made the day for the individual who is carrying the band-aid. Sarah brought the idea with her and handed the bandana to Boo (Belinda) yesterday. Sadly, Boo was the first casualty not feeling well, with some headaches and nausea. Sarah gave it to her with positive energy from the team to help her recover.

Today at dinner it was Boo’s turn to hand the band-aid on and she graciously gave it to Ema, the head expedition guide that will be with the team on all 3 peaks. Boo stayed back to rest today and wasn’t able to partake in the activities with LWF. However, Ema picked her up at 9am to take her to the clinic, followed her through the clinic to ensure everything was ok, and continued checking on her all day.

Ema with bandana

We are glad to see Boo feeling better and look forward to an early departure to the gate!

PS – The mobile phone now works both incoming and outgoing messages and calls, so feel free to talk to the team and send your support.

PPS – Thank you iBelieve for your encouragement and support! (



  1. Good luck on Mount Kenya tomorrow! You will be amazed at the views and changing fauna and I’m sure will love trekking as a team finally. Belinda – don’t let the African flu get you down and I HIGHLY recommend a cocktail of Cipro, rehydration salts, and some american gummies (Trace – hook her up!) Have fun girls! Will be checking the blog daily to hear how you are doing! Lots of love from NYC, Brooke

  2. I hope you’re feeling much better Boo. We’re all rooting for you from Belgium and US. I’m sure you’ll “rise” to the challenge.
    Lots of love,
    Mal, Heidy, Allen and Margot

  3. Team 2010!!
    Thinking of you all on the eve of your first climb. You’ll absolutely love the journey up Mt Kenya … remember to always look at where you’ve come from, not just where you’re going. Good Luck!!!
    Luce Watson, Australia 3P3W09


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