A Wet And Wild Welcome To Africa

 In Dr Anne Small

Dr Anne In Africa: Just like the famous Toto song from the ‘80s, Dr Anne felt the rains down in Africa, where she’s taking some time to do the things she never has … and raise awareness about a group of Australians heading to Geneva to save some of the world’s wildlife.

You already knew Dr Anne never does things by halves! So her latest trek has taken her to Africa to see the glorious gorillas and other adventures beginning with landing in the bustling city of Addis Ababa. Famous for its coffee, the city is the capital of Ethiopia and poured on the wet weather for Dr Anne when she landed, not to mention some wild behaviour from the locals.

“We arrived in the pouring rain – what an arrival! The two-lane road from the airport turned into a five-lane traffic jam with cars going in all directions – missing each other by millimetres.

“I was taking photos of the various little shops on the way. In one photo was an Ethiopian man who saw me taking the photo. Because our car was stopped in the traffic jam, he started running towards us screaming at me that I had taken a photo of him. I tried to explain that I was taking a photo of the bananas. He went around to the driver’s window and was screaming abuse at the driver and me. The driver tried to explain but the man punched him in the face and our driver retaliated with a punch back to the man’s face. There was much yelling and screaming and finally two 20-year-old policewomen arrived.

“One of the interesting statements that the man made was that I was American and that I couldn’t do this in Africa. I forcefully told him I was an Australian which seemed to quieten him down somewhat. What a welcome!”

The following day Dr Anne took a tour of Addis Ababa and visited some of its most well-known attractions, making sure to take along her toy pet lion Leona.

“We went to the National Museum where Leona met Lucy, the 3.2-million-year-old fossil, who is very famous in archaeological terms. Then to the Institute of Ethiopian Structures and then to the Church of the Holy Trinity where Haile Selassie is buried.”

The story of Lucy is quite fascinating, with the museum’s description as follows: Some 3.18 million years ago, Lucy’s body was slowly sinking in the mud of a lake. Fossilization was beginning this admirable process preserved her bones from destruction until scientists discovered them in 1974. Many other ancient remains – fossils and stone tools – persisted in Ethiopian rocks through ages. These remains tell us a long story of great transformation in landscapes, living beings, and techniques. They tell us the long story of our ancestors.

Leona inspecting the fossil ‘Lucy’ which many believe to be the missing link in the evolution of species to modern humans


The image of a reconstructed ‘Lucy’ skeleton sparks the imagination

Leona the lion also accompanied Dr Anne on her last trip to Antarctica and Peru, wearing her tailor-made For The Love Of Wildlife (FLOW) jacket to create awareness of FLOW and the plight of wildlife around the world. FLOW was founded by Dr Anne’s good friend Donalea Patman, of Melbourne, who has been working with the Australian government since 2014 over issues such as the plight of Africa’s lions. After 18 months, her input led to Australia becoming the first country in the world to ban the import of lion trophies and body parts. Awarded an OAM in 2017, Donalea is now taking FLOW to Geneva for the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) which starts August 16, 2019.

Dr Anne’s travel blog is supporting fundraising for FLOW to make this important trip to Geneva and is calling for donations to assist with the mission. Donations to For The Love Of Wildlife can be made by clicking this link – CLICK TO DONATE HERE.

All donations over $2 are tax deductible and are possible via Paypal, credit card or direct debit.

Click Here to see a sample of Donalea’s outstanding representation for the African animals whose numbers are dangerously depleted due to hunting and illegal poaching, where she speaks about the new Disney movie Lion King about to be released around the world.

For more information about For The Love Of Wildlife’s incredible work, visit the website here www.fortheloveofwildlife.org.au

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