Posted by: Laura Hartstone | 9 January, 2011

Environmental Education 101

Game drive through Ol Pejeta

Today’s activities really cemented the group’s connection to the conservation aspect of our challenge. We got to see gorgeous wildlife in several contexts by visiting an affiliate of Laikipia Wildlife Forum. We started our morning with an introduction to giraffes, impala, zebras, baboons, warthogs, and ibis inside the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, en route to a chimpanzee sanctuary. The animals were majestic in their natural habitat. Once we arrived at the sanctuary, we had the pleasure of watching rescued chimps at leisure. We learned about each chimp’s background and the costly effects of the bushmeat trade and the practice of keeping chimps as pets.

Judy, a chimp affect by human-spread polio, now calling the sanctuary home

After we left the furry faces and human child-like antics of the chimps, we headed to the rhino sanctuary, where we learned about black rhinos and met Baraka, a 17-year-old rhino whose complete blindness didn’t stop him from fulfilling his hunger for fresh grasses and acacia, which he was happy to eat directly from us. Finally, we had the rare privilege of meeting Suni and Fatu, two Northern White Rhinos, of which there are only a total of four (possibly eight) individuals remaining in the world. The pair was beautiful and seemed to be quite at home in their new habitat, despite its stark contrast to their former home at a Czech Zoo. Close to three tons, Suni serves as a reminder of the fragility of even the most powerful beasts once they become an object of human desire.

Team visiting Northern White Rhinos

The whole day was a wonderful learning experience, led by Ephantus Mugo, the Environmental Education Officer of LWF, who shared his expertise and his passion for fieldwork, which he had been cultivating since childhood.  We returned back to our home base at the Nanyuki Sports Club to find that all of the teammates who had been under the weather were on the mend and looking good to head out to Mt. Kenya tomorrow morning.

Please note that LIVE SMS updates are currently not working. We are doing our best to get the system up and running. Please stay posted here and on our Facebook page for all LIVE updates from 2011.

Team with Ephantus

Post written by Valerie Rosenberg



  1. Glad to hear that you girls are enjoying your time with the LWF and having some fun environmental and animal adventures! We will all be thinking of you as you set off for Mt Kenya to climb for the LWF! Have fun! Brooke Vaughan/Coby 3p3w ’09
    PS Laura – no giraffes???:)

  2. Thanks for the fabulous posts of your journey so far. It helps us share your experiences and keeps you all closer to us. Can you be closer than our hearts? Love and best wishes to the entire team of wonder women!!!!

  3. Hello beautiful ladies,
    I have been watching the website almost hourly and have not
    been able to find the update. I finally got in on a link posted in
    Laura’s e-mail regarding “updates” which was sent a couple weeks
    So happy to see photos esp. the ones that Kaitlyn is in. They are
    very connecting. Our best to the entire team and all who are
    assisting them. XXOOMOM

  4. Hello from France where we’re thinking about you! You’ve done some incredible things already! Really glad to learn that Charlotte is feeling better. She’s tough for sure! Congratulations to all of you. Looking forward to the next update.

  5. Glad to hear that everyone is feeling better! The weather is looking good too – fingers crossed that you have sunny days ahead of you on the mountain! Good luck!

  6. Tara…. no you can’t bring any of the animals home! I know you have fallen in love with them all. Good work girls- awesome to hear about the LWF and the organisations benefiting from all your hard work!

  7. Hey Aunt Lynnie!!! I am so proud of you, and you look beautiful. Go get ’em!!!!!!!!!

  8. Hey Laura,
    Don’t forget to give the chimps a big hug from us and wish them the best.
    Look out for banana peel on the way up the mountain!!!
    love from us all!

  9. Hi girls, wishing you all the best for Mount Kenya.. it is such a beautiful mountain, you will just love it. When times get tough just remember all the work and effort you’ve put in over the past 18 months, and most importantly, that you are climbing for the LWF and all the incredible work that it does in Kenya. Good luck, my thoughts and wishes are with you all, I know Laura, Ema and team will take the best care of you all! Cheers, Boo 🙂

  10. Lynnie: Love you!!! So proud of you and your group! Enjoy the adventure and all the experiences it brings. Can’t wait to see you and hear all about it!!!!!!

  11. Hey Sarah! So amazing the animals you have been able to see. Hope the trip is going well! All the best to you and the team!! Love ya girl!

  12. To Valerie and all her companions,
    It is clear that this will be the adventure of a lifetime, while you help make the world a better place. Have a great climb of Mt. Kenya. We look forward to future posts. Love to our daughter, of whom we are very proud.

  13. You all look amazing and full of energy! Isn’t Laikipia amazing to see in person and wrap your head around all the unique, differant and impactful things they are doing there. After visiting, I was reminded of the famous Margaret Mead quote that…”Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

    Keep up the momentum and give Laura, Simba, Paul and Ema a hug from me! They are the best! – Sarah Winters Papsun, 2010 3 Peaks Team Member and iB-lieve Ambassador

  14. Hi Kelly – This note is from Grandma… Brad and I are down in Fort Myers right now. She says that she’s relieved that everything is going well, but she does still worry about you! Take care of yourself. She loves you!

  15. Dear 3 Peaks Alumni:

    “When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.” – Lao Tzu

    This quote goes out to the 11 women who just summited Mt. Kenya on “3 Peaks 3 Weeks 2011”. Be yourselves, enjoy the journey and take in the moment. You have put in all the hard work, training, fundraising and educating. Now is the time to enjoy the adventure, you yourself and help others who are struggling. Last year, someone told us some very sage advice that “everyone arrives to the party at different times”, so if it’s a day you feel great, help someone who feels the affects of the altitude. You will be grateful when you are feeling not so great one day, when someone shows you some compassion and help! Best wishes Team 2011!

    Kind Regards,
    Sarah Winters Papsun


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