There are so many reasons to be depressed if you let the problems that surround you become your focus. My father and I realised that focussing on positive things would be a much more productive way of handling life.
In 2012 I started the Blue Sky Society Trust – a Non Profit Organisation that would explore the possibilities and attract like-minded members and supporters to pro-actively deal with challenges that we face on a daily basis.
I have always worked on the fringes of the hospitality industry and this led me to have an abiding love of nature and the environment. I was always attracted to adventure and helping animals. In the last decade I have become increasingly aware of the importance of conservation and the fact that we cannot sit back and wait for a miracle to happen. Every one of us needs to be involved in the fight for a better world.
I believe that unless we uplift humans from poverty then we will not be able to save our planet from a slow death. So many animal species are becoming extinct and we are not doing enough to stop this. Conservation, humanity and the environment are all intertwined. Humans who have access to education and who develop compassion will naturally want to save the animals that share our world.
The Blue Sky Society Trust encourages everyone with a passion to make a difference to get involved.
- What are you most passionate about?
Being kind, loving Friends & Family and making a difference AND obviously travel. 😊
- What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
Probably starting Blue Sky Society Trust. I quit my paying job to start it in 2012. I had no working capital , no business plan, and no financial support, but I knew in my heart and gut that it was the right thing for me so I took the leap of faith and have never looked back. There have been (and still are) many anxious moments but I am truly grateful to do what I love to do.
- What makes you angry?
Greedy and entitled people; humans who have no consideration for their actions. Egos and laziness. AND pollution and destruction of our planet.
- If you inherited an acre of land what would you do with it?
I would plant trees – we need more trees. The destruction of our environment is a real thing you see daily when travelling in Africa. It’s an open wound of Africa. We need trees to survive; they are the source of life and many take them for granted. The Trees4KZN project is an ongoing Blue Sky Society Trust initiative aimed at increasing the tree count in KwaZulu-Natal.
- Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?
I am a survivor. I would like to think I am a bit of both, but saying that, hunting goes against my beliefs. It’s not anything that I could or would want to do. But in terms of being brave and going out there and doing things – then perhaps I am a “hunter”. Can we not rather not say fight or flight? Because I’m definitely a fighter (fighting for those that cannot stand up or speak out for themselves).
- How many pairs of shoes do you own?
To be honest not many. I have tried many times to wear high heels but I find them quite uncomfortable. I’m more of a slop / sandal kind of girl. But maybe about 30 pairs all in all.
- If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?
Curry or stir fry. If I had a choice I would take you outdoors sitting around a camp fire under the African skies and cook a curry.
- How would people communicate in a perfect world?
A Perfect World – if only ….. I would say face to face by going “old school’ and talking to each other. We seem to have forgotten how to talk kindly to each other and live in a society of emails and whatsapps. That’s why I love going on expedition because when you are in a car with someone for 8 hours straight with no other distractions you HAVE to talk to each other. We have forgotten how to do that – it also seems that the world we live in today, people are so self-absorbed. I know everyone has their own story but it’s always important to put yourselves in someone else’s shoes and by actually picking up the phone and talking to people we can resolve SO much more.
- What do you work toward in your free time?
Hmmm free time …. I love my own time but I also love spending time with friends and family and laughing. We don’t laugh enough.
- If you woke up and had 300 unread emails and could only answer 30 of them, how would you choose which ones to answer?
YIKES I do have that some days – LOL, I would sort them by sender and then see who they were from and then prioritise from there according to what projects I have going on.
- Name 3 thing in nature you find most beautiful.
Sunrises, Sunsets and Rainbows (Rain)
- Have you used plastic bags for your shopping in the last two weeks?
I try VERY hard not to. I made a conscientious decision months back not to buy plastic bags – so even if I forget them I force myself to walk back to my car or buy another shopping material bag instead of plastic. It is a daily challenge but something every one needs to be more aware of. South Africa seems to slowly be waking up to the fact that we have a plastic disaster on our hands.
- What would you say are some small steps that people can take to improve their relationship to the environment?
Not using plastic bags, plant a tree each year, try use glass instead of plastic and try to re-cycle when you can – it’s actually not that difficult. I separate my items and take them down once a week to a recycling point. You will be HORRIFIED how much plastic you use. It’s about unlearning bad habits but once you start you are already making a difference. Also, support companies that are trying to make a difference (the little guys like the veggie guy who grows his own veggies) OR if you can plant and grow your own veggies then do that. Switch off taps when you are washing your hair or brushing your teeth. Often we just let the water flow without caring. Support organisations where you can that are involved in helping the environment. Come up with reasons why you CAN make a difference instead of coming up with a million excuses why you can’t. Mama Africa is magnificent and we have still got SO much worth fighting for.