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Safari

It All Started With The

IT TOOK 3 YEARS AND 3 FULL TRIPS AROUND THE EARTH TO BECOME AN AUTHOR AND AN ANIMAL ADVOCATE.  

 

HERE IS HOW I WROTE "LET'S GO ON SAFARI" AND HOW I LEARNED TO TAKE ACTION TO SAVE WILDLIFE AND WILD SPACES.

I was 7 years old when I first went on safari in South Africa.  I traveled with my parents and my Godfathers.  It was here I met Michelle, my game driver, who taught me about the animals, their habitats - and that humans were their biggest threat! After every game drive, I would come home and write in my journal. What I remember most about this trip was when I saw my first cheetah!  I've never seen anything so beautiful.  Michelle explained that this was such a rare sighting, because only 7000 cheetah remain in the wild.

OVER A YEAR LATER, WE PLACED THIS VERY CHEETAH ON THE COVER OF OUR BOOK AND DECIDED THAT ALL SALES WOULD SUPPORT CONSERVATION PARTNERS.  EVERY TIME A KID BUYS "LET'S GO ON SAFARI" THEY ARE SAVING ENDANGERED ANIMALS.

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BOOK

The

HOW DOES AN 8 YEAR OLD WRITE A BOOK?

 

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE?

 

HOW DID IT TURN INTO A CALL TO ACTION FOR ALL YOUTH?

I woke up one morning and just started writing.  I wrote down memories of my trip.  But something was missing!  It was missing a conservation voice.  I needed my game driver Michelle!  I emailed her and asked her if she would write the book with me, and she said yes.  For weeks, we emailed back and forth between Austin and Africa until we had a first draft.

LUCKY BREAK! DR. JANE GOODALL READ AN EARLY DRAFT OF OUR BOOK AND ALLOWED US TO WRITE ABOUT HER ROOTS AND SHOOTS YOUTH SERVICE PROGRAM.  THIS WAS WHEN OUR BOOK TURNED INTO ADVOCACY.

With momentum from Dr. Goodall's support - I was able to partner with The Jane Goodall Institute, the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and Global Wildlife Conservation.  I was able to meet with top scientists who save species. And, Brian Sheth and Angela Sheldrick both formally endorsed my book. 

My book was not published yet and it still needed many edits. I needed feedback from kids.  I needed to see what kids thought.  My school, Trinity Episcopal School, pulled an all-kid editing panel together to help me with final edits.

It took forever to find a publisher!  8 months to be exact.  I opened so many letters and emails that said no.  But finally, with the help of Ryan Seacrest having me on his radio program, I found a publisher.

BOOK TOUR!  WE FLEW MICHELLE TO THE UNITED STATES FOR A MONTH LONG TOUR OF OUR BOOK.

From Austin to New York City to Los Angeles, we toured, signed books, and met so many animal advocates, including a few famous ones!

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advocacy

The

The following two years, I worked to become an animal advocate. 

 

I met with leaders in conservation, film makers and volunteered at some of the top sanctuaries working to rescue, rehabilitate and release animals back into the wild. 

I learned what it takes to release an orphaned elephant back into the wild with the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya.

I learned what it takes to rehabilitate orphaned rhinos when I volunteered at Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary. 

 

I also shoveled a lot of rhino poop!

I met Bonné de Bod, the woman behind the award-winning documentary STROOP Journey Into The Rhino Horn War.  You see, poaching is more than just the killing of a rhino, pangolin or elephant.  The selling of animal parts is a global crime ring, and I needed to learn it all.

I traveled to Ol Pejeta Conservancy and met the two last remaining Northern White Rhinos named Najin and Fatu. 

 

I also experienced Dr. Goodall's famous chimp sanctuary, Sweet Waters.

DURING THIS TIME, PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE IN SOUTH AFRICA PICKED UP OUR TITLE. 

 

NOW, LET'S GO ON SAFARI IS AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD WORLDWIDE.

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