After dropping the tool he had in his hand, he wiped his forehead and eyes and stood up, puzzled. What in the world can that be?, he must have said to himself, but because his preoccupation was with the broken-down water system and he knew that he had a limited amount of time to fix it, he kept ignoring the idea that maybe, and seriously maybe, something else needed his attention right away elsewhere. He couldn’t exactly pinpoint where those sounds came from, but he quickly figured out once he started walking behind the gate and around the pond with the papyrus trees.
Understanding animals shows them respect. Doing so illuminates the interdependence between and among species, including humans. This understanding doesn’t come from books or nature films alone. It doesn’t come from a brisk walk through a zoo. The understanding needed grows through the guided exposure to animals’ stories, strengths, threats and survival skills.
Ethiopia is a country that still fills my heart to this day. I took a memorable eight-day trip to Ethiopia with G-Adventures, the National Geographic tour operator that teaches what exploration with purpose means, in August 2019.