Penny & Elephants

This expression captures a lot of the thoughts and emotions of the entire trip.  It was taken on April 11, 2015.

Surprise – Amazement – Warmth – Excitement – Embracement – Adventure –Power – Grace – Passion – Humbleness – Beauty – Big – Complicated

While Penny knew we were going to Africa, the specific itinerary was kept from her.  She was a great sport about this, especially considering her tendency to over-pack.  This daily “where are we going” surprise factor was quite fun and well worth all the effort.  It became good entertainment while interacting with most of those we came in contact with.   For example, when we conversed with staff or other guests most discussions contained the following: “So where are you going next?”   We had fun with that question.

Anyway, Penny & I have been married for more than 30 years and I had no idea that one of her dreams was to meet and get to know an elephant.   In planning the trip she let this dream out and I brushed it aside and said something to the effect of “you’ll probably get to see a couple”.

So on day 12 of our adventure we get up from a wonderful two room bungalow that was raised about 6 feet off the ground at Baines Sanctuary Lodge in Botswana and travel by Land Rover about 20 minutes to a lush field with no visible structures nearby.   Standing there were 3 elephants and 4 people.   Doug and Sandi Groves are the Chief Elephant Officers of “Living with Elephants” ([email protected]).

Talk about passion!   These folks adopted two orphan elephants 26 years ago and have been living in the bush with them since.   About 20 years ago they added another elephant member to their family.

Well this program was extremely educational and INTERACTIVE –


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walking with,

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talking with, (sort of) Screen Shot 2015-11-07 at 5.55.42 PM

and eating lunch with elephants.

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Penny even did a few Yoga poses with Melay and Jaboo.

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The Groves were fantastic hosts, being informative, gracious, and accommodating in every way.

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After seeing the intelligence

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and curiosity

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of these gentle giants up close and personal I will respect elephants in a whole new light.   Thanks Penny as I would never have done this without your dream.