Safari Studio Adventures: Blog en-us (C) Safari Studio Adventures [email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) Wed, 28 Jul 2021 18:03:00 GMT Wed, 28 Jul 2021 18:03:00 GMT Safari Studio Adventures: Blog 90 120 Why Me?  I thank God for the era in which I have lived. One of the reasons is to have been able to have known this guy, Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius. You may find this a bit funny, but, hang in there, you might see something profound.

 You see, when animator Chuck Jones and the Warner Bros. team developed the Road Runner/Wile E. Coyote series, they did some serious planning. They developed rules that would govern the progression of the plots and boundaries of behavior that could not be crossed. One such boundary was that the Road Runner was to never ever be caught. Another, unknown to many, is the fact that no matter what chaos or catastrophe that befell the poor haphazard canine, it had to be the result of his own creation. Hence, this blog.

 I heard someone say yesterday, "Why do these things always seem to happen to me?". Is it possible that we, like the well-known Acme customer, are prone to reap what we have sown? Do bad things actually happen to good people?

 In my blogs I usually try to explain life's happenings with sound Biblical teaching, seasoned with a bit of humor, and, this blog is no different.

 Jesus tells the parable (earthly story with Heavenly meaning) of the prodigal son to His disciples, which is recorded in the fifteenth chapter of the book of Luke. The story tells of a son that decides he is ready to take a bite out of the big apple of life. He requests his inheritance from his father, which is made available to him, and he heads out on his new journey, unaware of what lies before him.

 Far from home he tastes the fruit of what the world has to offer "and there wasted his substance with riotous living". Broke, on his own and far from home, he hires himself out to a local citizen to feed his pigs. I can hear him now saying, "Woe is me". (Just like Wile E. Coyote, the prodigal son had created the calamity he endured.) Jesus said that he was so hungry that he would have fain (been happy) to fill his belly with the husks that the swine ate. And, things could have continued as this...

 But, Jesus said that "when he came to himself", when he realized what he had done, he returned home to be joyfully received of his father.

 Galatians 6:7 says, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap".

 It seems that Chuck Jones may have considered this before strapping that rocket on that poor self-proclaimed animated genius.

[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) animated Bible calamity cartoon catastrophe fault God Jesus prodigal son reaping sowing teaching trouble Tue, 18 Feb 2020 18:21:23 GMT
American Mingi  Last evening I watched a program titled, "Omo Child", a documentary on the ancient practice of "mingi" by the Ethiopian Kara tribe. The Omo Valley in Ethiopia, Africa contains several tribes including the Hamer, Arbore, Dassanech and Karo (or Kara), among others.

 You may be like me, ignorant of what "mingi" may be. You may also wonder why I titled this blog, "American Mingi". Let me explain.

 The Kara people practice an ancient ritual known as "mingi". Mingi comes in three different classes; women mingi, girl mingi and teeth mingi. "Women mingi" occurs when a woman produces a child that has not received the blessing of the tribal elders. "Girl mingi" happens when a child is born before marriage. And, "teeth mingi" is manifested when a child produces upper teeth before bottom teeth. All forms of mingi is believed to bring a curse upon the tribal community and is to be dealt with by killing the mingi child. Women perform the killing by wrapping a rope around the child's neck to suffocate while dirt is stuffed into the child's mouth to prevent crying until dead. The body is then thrown into the bush to be eaten by wild animals. An alternate means of killing is drowning the child in a nearby river. The killing is believed to relieve the curse of drought, famine, and disease upon the community.

 Thousands upon thousands of children in the Kara tribe have been disposed of in this way for many, many years. The documentary follows the efforts of one educated young man in his attempt to overthrow this practice among his people. Even though he eventually persuades the tribal elders to end this practice, many other tribes still practice mingi today.

 Now, as I watched the horror of this practice played out on my television screen, I thought how barbaric, how archaic, how ignorant...and, yes, how evil this practice was. But, then I remembered the recent statistics that America, the land of the free and home of the brave, has killed 61 million children since the decision of Roe vs. Wade in 1973. Now, you understand the title, American Mingi.

 I did not create the idea of abortion, it was a decision made by my elders. The practice of abortion mimics the same process as mingi, the annihilation of precious innocent children to ease the conscious of fearful people. But, just like the mingi, the real curse is the killing of innocent children, future generations.

 Now, we do not kill by strangulation, suffocation or mere drowning. We are too sophisticated for that, we use technical lethal extermination, dismemberment and extraction. How barbaric, how archaic, how ignorant...and, yes, how evil.

 It is time for the young educated ones to stand up for the unborn, just as the young man in this program. A difference can be made. Just because abortion has been allowed for so many, many years, there is no reason that it must continue. It is time for our elders to repent of the decision of the past and create a new future for those that have so long been forgotten. The Kara tribe was facing a population decrease due to the vast killings being carried out. We, too, as Americans have experienced much the same decrease because of our actions. 61 million people is a lot of people, ten times the number of souls lost in the Holocaust. 

 We must awake from our sleep. I ask you to join me in standing against our American Mingi, the abortion of our fellow citizens.

 May God forgive us and may He bless this United States of America.


(Photo courtesy of Zach Vessels of

[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) abortion Africa America archaic babies children curse decision Ethiopia fear future generation Kara killing mingi Wed, 29 Jan 2020 16:04:05 GMT
The Adventure Of Experiencing God

 My earlier blog post dealt with experiencing God. You can consider this a second installment. We tend to forget that when discussing God we are actually discussing three different persons. Each having distinguishable characteristics, yet, together, having the same. We know God the Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, however, we seldom consider the third person of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit. Some refer to Him as the Holy Ghost, and today we discuss this important person of the Godhead.

 We know from the writings of the book of Genesis that all three were present at the Creation as God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:" - Genesis 1:26. Verse one of the same chapter tells us that God created the heavens and the earth. Verse two tells us that the Spirit moved upon the face of the waters. The book of Colossians tells us that Jesus created all things, for, by Him and for Him were all things created. So, all three were present because they all make up one God. You will also notice that each person directs attention back to God. Angels have been recorded doing the same, directing humans not to worship them, but, worship God.

 We know that God spoke to Moses, giving him the ten commandments, and, that Jesus appears in the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. God tells Noah to build an ark and Jesus is baptized by John the Baptist. God parts the waters of the Red Sea and Jesus appears as a baby in the writings of the New Testament after being prophesied in the Old Testament. Jesus also lives, dies and is resurrected in the New. But, what about the Holy Spirit? What is His purpose since we already have God, the Creator and Jesus, the Savior and Redeemer?

 The Holy Spirit is the One that allows us human beings to experience God. Without Him, we would understand nothing spiritual, we could remember nothing spiritual and we could not live spiritual. He convicts us of our sin, He teaches us to be righteous, He warns us of judgment. He equips us to be spiritual believers that edify others as we walk this earthly life. It is through His touch that we are able to feel God. Jesus, upon His ascension, knew this and promised to send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit.

 It was the Holy Spirit that blew into the upper room of new believers, filling each. You may tend to think that His duty was through after the first disciples were filled, however, you would be wrong. He does the same today in much the same way. I like that the Bible many times describes Him as a wind. Many times in my life I have had to get away, usually outside, to gather my thoughts. I close my eyes, whisper a prayer and immediately feel His calming breeze blow across my face letting me know that things will be alright. In that small moment when I feel so defeated, He encourages and uplifts me so that I can carry on. Talk to others, and, I believe, they will tell you they have had a similar experience. Or maybe you yourself have experienced this visitation from the third person of the Trinity. Again, Jesus called Him the Comforter, which is absolutely the perfect name. 

 Many hunters and outdoor photographers have told me that being out in nature is like going to church. The reason they feel this way is because the Holy Spirit speaks to them through God's Creation. Romans 1:20 states, "For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:" Perfectly said, we have no excuse for not believing in God the Creator.

 I share these things so that you may desire and learn to experience God, the Father, the Son AND the Holy Spirit throughout your life. I have found it to be a crucial ingredient to maintaining a more calm, less stressed life. If you have found this or maybe my other blog posts helpful, please drop me a comment at the bottom of the blog post. Your feedback lets me know that my hours of study and writing are not in vain. I thank you for reading.

 Now get out there and enjoy the adventure of experiencing God!!

 Image Copyright and Courtesy of Etienne Steenkamp of

[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) adventure Bible Comforter experience God Godhead Holy Spirit Jesus spiritual Trinity wind Mon, 21 Oct 2019 03:22:36 GMT
Safari Ya Kumjua Mungu  I entitled this installment, "The Adventure of Experiencing God", but, in Swahili, thanks to a Kenyan friend of mine. In this article, I will attempt to define our relationship with God using a poem by John Godfrey Saxe, "The Blind Men and the Elephant", based upon an ancient parable with basically the same name and the Biblical book of the Song of Solomon.

 The poem goes like this:



IT was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.


The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
"God bless me!—but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!"


The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried: "Ho!—what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me 't is mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!"


The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:

"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a snake!"


The Fourth reached out his eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
"What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain," quoth he;
"'T is clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!"


The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: "E'en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!"


The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a rope!"


And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!


So, oft in theologic wars
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!

 In this example, we will use the Elephant as a representation of God. (Actually, the Biblical book of Job compares an elephant to God saying that, "He is the chief of the ways of God"- Job 40:19a, so my meanderings are not so far off.) In the poem above, six blind men set out to discover the great creature, the elephant. They could only base their findings on the specific part on which their hand would land. The first touched the side, declaring the elephant was like a wall. The second touched a tusk and compared the creature to a spear. The third took hold of the squirming trunk and was convinced the elephant was a snake. The fourth felt around the leg of the must be a tree. The fifth touched the ear and exclaimed that the animal was a fan. The sixth seized onto the swinging tail and decided that all other observers were mistaken, for the animal was like a rope. The parable goes on that the various findings led to fist fight due to the arrogance and ignorance of each man.

 This is much like us all when discovering God. Just as the blind men had never seen the elephant, no one has seen God. We determine our beliefs about God through our interactions with Him, many times a single touch during tragedy or blessing. Sometimes we base our beliefs on what we have been told about Him. I have always found personal experiences are greater than happenstance hearsay. But, we do not have to be blind like the men in this story. We actually have an advantage, we have the written Word of God, written by God and about God. Through reading and studying the Bible, we get a broader understanding of God's character. As we study, He begins to touch our lives. It is a true adventure to pursue and experience God.

 The Song of Solomon from the Bible is probably avoided by many religious students and church members due to the explicit comparison of our love for God and the sexual love of a couple. (Immediately, I heard people rush to blow the dust from their Bibles to read this book!!) And, Solomon, one of the wisest men to ever live, is correct. Once we understand who God is, see the wonders He performs and the blessings He bestows, we desire to be with Him. As with our significant other, we want to know more, feel more and understand Him more. We desire a closer intimacy with Him. Moreover, God desires a closer relationship with us. Our eyes become opened and our spirits lifted as we experience His love, peace, direction and, even, His anger, correction, and forgiveness. And, in addition, our perception is heightened as we discover Him from a closer perspective.

 So, as Saxe's writing concludes, we learn the moral to put our petty ignorance aside, observe, experience and behold the Elephant!!

"So, oft in theologic wars
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!"



[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) adventure belief Bible blind experience God John Godfrey Saxe parable perception relationship Solomon Fri, 18 Oct 2019 18:10:14 GMT
Go Naked

 Ha, Gotcha!! I knew with that title I would get some readers. Stick around, you may be pleasantly surprised. A few years ago I had the opportunity to purchase a personalized license plate for my zebra-striped vehicle. I wanted a plate that would draw attention and requirements stated the plate could only contain seven letters, no more. This is a bigger chore than you may imagine. I had seen cute phrases such as "FLEWBYU", "HUMPDAY", and one on a hearse, "EXPIRED". But, what better configuration than "GONAKED"? It contained seven letters and just like the title of this blog, it got your attention. But, after some consideration and some stern looks from others, I opted to go with "GOZEBRA", instead.

 The word "naked" is found in the Bible a little over one hundred times. Contrary to much belief, it is not always shameful to be naked. For instance, Job fell to the ground naked, humbled before the Lord. David danced and praised God while being naked. Isaiah was ordered by God to preach naked. Of course, Adam and Eve were naked in the beginning. It is only after Adam complains of being naked that God clothes them. God asked, "Who told you that you were naked?" Hence, we were created naked.

 But, what is the difference between being naked and being nude? Robert Graves summed up the subject in the following poem:

   The Naked and the Nude

For me, the naked and the nude
(By lexicographers construed
As synonyms that should express
The same deficiency of dress
Or shelter) stand as wide apart
As love from lies, or truth from art.

Lovers without reproach will gaze
On bodies naked and ablaze;
The Hippocratic eye will see
In nakedness, anatomy;
And naked shines the Goddess when
She mounts her lion among men.

The nude are bold, the nude are sly
To hold each treasonable eye.
While draping by a showman's trick
Their dishabille in rhetoric,
They grin a mock-religious grin
Of scorn at those of naked skin.

The naked, therefore, who compete
Against the nude may know defeat;
Yet when they both together tread
The briary pastures of the dead,
By Gorgons with long whips pursued,
How naked go the sometimes nude!


 Although this poem is not spiritual or religious, the poet does hit on some human traits that demand some attention. Graves compares Naked as truth and Nude as a lie. Naked is honest in her appearance while Nude hides behind a facade. Naked is humble and Nude has forgotten its nakedness and become somewhat arrogant. We, too, have a tendency to become arrogant with our social status, our career positions, or our wealth. We judge others on that basis, totally blinded as to how naked we really are. Graves concludes the poem saying that there is no difference as we are all destined for death. Bummer.

 Sometimes it is best to just go naked.

Image by Alphonse Maria Mucha

[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) art death deceit honest lie life love naked nude shame truth Wed, 16 Oct 2019 19:01:20 GMT
Fight Or Flight  "Hatari" is the Swahili word for "danger". Danger is defined as, "the possibility of suffering harm or injury." And, perhaps there is no better (or worse) place for hatari than the wild savannas of Africa. The daily struggle between predator and prey sparks the "fight or flight" mechanism in each and every one of God's creatures.

 We human creatures face these struggles just as well. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the United States, affecting about 19 million or 13% of all adults and 25% of all teens, 30% of all teenage girls. Facing drastic situations in our lives, we, too, must decide to fight or take flight.

 I speak from experience. I had never had issues with anxiety until a few years ago when I experienced a 7mm kidney stone. A normal person is said to be able to pass a kidney stone up to 5mm and this stone got hung up trying to enter my bladder and would go no farther. I had to go through a procedure to have it removed, a very unpleasant event. That stone had originated in my left kidney. The following year I repeated the process with an 8mm stone from my right kidney. There is no pain like that of a kidney stone on the move and there is really nothing you can do about it until the stone passes. That inability to have any power over the passage or the pain, I believe, triggered my fight or flight mechanism, causing my anxiety.

 In the years to follow, I had two other events occur that would trigger anxiety. First, my employer downsized during the recession and I lost my position of thirteen years in a permanent layoff. Immediately after that, I witnessed the ravages of death caused by cancer as I sat by my mother's bedside. I discovered that I really never had any control over the tragic circumstances in my life.

 However, Biblically speaking, I do have power over anxiety through God. II Timothy 1:7 states,

 "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

 So, if God was not the originator of fear and He had given me a sound mind, why was I still having anxiety?

 I continued to read on in I Peter 5:6-11,

"Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus,

after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."

 I must humble myself before God, it is He that delivers (not myself) if I place my care upon Him because He cares for me. I must also be clear-minded and realize that Satan, a predator, is as a "roaring lion". Wait, what is meant by this phrase? Have you ever seen a roaring lion in African documentaries? A roaring lion is not on the hunt, he is just trying to instill fear in his prey, making his presence known. By comparison, a hunting lion is very quiet, hidden and cautious before an attack. By instilling fear, the lion, or Satan, for that matter, causes confusion, mental anguish or, even worse, inaction. We do not know whether to fight or take flight. It is a type of psychological warfare, or, if you prefer, an attack of anxiety or panic.

 The solution? I must remain steadfast in my faith in God and know that all of God's children suffer the same afflictions. We all suffer. I must face my fear head on. Then, after I have suffered a while, Jesus will stand up and rebuke the "lion" by perfecting me, establishing my path, strengthening me, and settling my spirit.

 To Him be all glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.


[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) Africa anxiety danger disorder God hatari panic power roaring lion Satan sound mind Mon, 07 Oct 2019 16:25:22 GMT
Weird Peter Beard   Artists have always been considered a bit strange, eccentric and even a bit weird. American artist, photographer and writer Peter Beard would most likely fit the bill. Peter's large photographic prints of African animals usually become a collage with newspaper clippings, leaves, drawings, notes written in India ink, and sepia-toned images and are usually smeared with blood, mostly animal, but, sometimes his own. He collects each in a sort of diary process, recounting the memories of his unusual life.

 Peter was born in 1938 as a New York aristocrat, heir to both a railroad fortune and a tobacco fortune. The family wealth supported the collection of great art, which probably fueled Peter's interest in art and beauty. At the age of 12 he began photographing and keeping a journal or diary of his activities. He entered Yale University in 1957 to study pre-med, but, switched his major to art history. Inspired by earlier trips to Africa in 1955 and 1960, he traveled to Kenya after graduation. While working at Tsavo National Park he photographed and documented the destruction of 35,000 elephants and other wildlife which would be the basis for his first book, "The End of the Game".

 While in Africa he purchased a property in the Ngong Hills adjacent to the coffee plantation owned by fellow writer, Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen), author of "Out of Africa". Beard would use this property as his life-long home base in East Africa. A close encounter with an elephant almost cost him his life in 1996, after the elephant gored and crushed him against a termite mound, severing an artery in his thigh and breaking his pelvis into several pieces.

 Peter has photographed many beautiful people including some supermodels. He was once married to supermodel Cheryl Tiegs. Beard is also given credit for discovering Iman, another supermodel, who married musician David Bowie in 1992. Upon Bowie's death in 2016, Iman wrote, "the struggle is real, but, so is God."

 Peter has also worked, sometimes collaborated with other acclaimed artists such as Andy Warhol, Andrew Wyeth, Francis Bacon, Truman Capote, Richard Lindner, Salvador Dali and the aforementioned Karen Blixen.

 I cannot say that I agree with all of Beard's choices in life, however, I can say that his passion and dedication to the creation of beautiful and differently interesting images are undeniable. His love and appreciation of Africa, wildlife and beauty should be applauded. May we all be so moved.




[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) Africa American art artist beauty creation eccentric elephant images Peter Beard photography Thu, 03 Oct 2019 16:06:47 GMT
Time For Tea

 I have never been a coffee drinker, but, when it comes to tea, I could probably drink my weight in the stuff. Of course, here in the Southern United States, it must be sweet. As I discovered this morning, I have a connection to Africa through tea. I have a friend named Lekake that lives in Kenya. Her mother, Grace, owns a tea plantation in Kericho. Thomas Johnstone Lipton created the Thomas J. Lipton Company in 1893. Unilever purchased the Lipton Tea Company in 1972 and has a location in Kericho, where it purchases its tea from small local tea growers, like Lekake's mother. And, after having enjoyed thousands of gallons of Lipton Tea throughout my lifetime, I have a personal connection to Africa through tea.

 Originally grown in China, tea was introduced to Africa in 1850 and Africa has now become one of the major tea producing areas. Kenya is the world's largest black tea exporter and the world's third largest tea producer. Today, tea is grown in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Uganda, Malawi, Cameroon, Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe. The tradition of tea drinking is enjoyed throughout the continent, possibly due to the influence of the English Victorian colonization presence. Most will have a 10 o'clock tea followed by an afternoon tea at around 4 pm, a break from the day to enjoy tea and a snack. The "afternoon tea" was introduced in England in the 1840's to prevent hunger between lunch and dinner. Africans also enjoy tea after dinner, with black tea being the tea of choice, with milk and sugar.

 The English may have made tea fashionable, but, Thomas J. Lipton made it affordable. Thomas Johnstone Lipton was born on May 10, 1848 in Glasgow, Scotland. His parents had been forced to leave Ireland in 1845 due to the potato famine. Thomas was the youngest of five children. His three older brothers and sister all died in infancy, leaving him to be the only surviving child. In 1864, Thomas signed on as a cabin boy for a local steamer where he heard and was captivated by stories from sailors that had sailed to America. Adventure would take hold as Thomas would use his wages to purchase passage to America where he traveled for five years. During which he worked on a tobacco plantation, as a bookkeeper, a farmhand, a door to door salesman, and a grocery assistant. He returned to Scotland in 1870 and in 1871 he opened his first provision shop, Lipton's Market. His enterprise proved successful and he soon established a chain of stores. By 1888, his grocery empire had grown to 300 stores and had reached British and American markets. Tea prices had fallen and demand was growing among middle class customers, so, Lipton entered the tea trade. By bypassing the traditional trade and wholesale distribution routes, Lipton was able to sell at unprecedented prices that enabled him to sell to the untapped poor working class market. In order to provide tea for his shops, Lipton began buying tea gardens. His shrewd business practices were key to his company's success. This success would feed Lipton's lifelong hunger for sailing and yachting, which happens to be the reason Lipton was always pictured on his products wearing a captain's hat.

 Thomas J. Lipton passed away on October 2, 1931. Never married and with no children, he bequeathed the majority of his fortune to his hometown of Glasgow. He is buried beside his parents and siblings in Glasgow.

 And, as radio commentator, Paul Harvey, would say, "Now, you know the rest of the story".



[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) Africa China colonization English export market plantation tea Thomas J. Lipton Thu, 19 Sep 2019 16:47:17 GMT
Palace Of The Lost City

 I was as giggly as a child going to Disneyland when I discovered this place. It's just a hotel, right? Yes, but, it's not just a is SAFARI themed. Pictured above is the hotel's 15 foot elephant named Shawu.

 Palace of the Lost City is a hotel that opened in 1992, one of the four hotels included in the Sun City complex. Sun City is in Rustenburg, a two hour journey north of Johannesburg, South Africa. The complex sits right on the edge of Pilanesberg National Park, which boasts of their "super seven" animal sightings. The "super seven" consists of Africa's Big Five; lion, leopard, elephant, black rhinoceros and cape buffalo, along with cheetah and wild dogs. The game reserve actually has over 7,000 animals, also including zebra, wildebeest and impala, plus 360 bird species. Both Sun City and the national park sit in an extinct volcano, reportedly, erupting more than 1,300 million years ago. Sun City was founded by world hotel magnate, Sol Kerzner, and was officially opened on December 7, 1979. Sometimes referred to as "Sin City" of Africa, the complex headlined many of the entertainers like those on the Las Vegas strip, including frank Sinatra, Elton John, Queen and the Beach Boys.

 To stir up the imagination, the hotel is said to be the palace of an ancient royal family. The myth of the lost African kingdom claims that the residence was destroyed by an earthquake, but, was resurrected when refurbished in 1992. The hotel spared no expense in supporting the myth. The vast scale of artistically designed features create a space that is truly palatial, making one a believer in the fantasy. The intricate African details and texture run throughout the furnishings and architecture from reception to dining areas. African wildlife is well represented in frescoes and fountains. Surrounded by lush botanical gardens, the resort offers hiking trails, babbling streams, waterfalls and a tropical beach with white sand.

 This may be a glimpse of my place in Heaven.


[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) Africa ancient architecture artistic beautiful design myth Palace of the Lost City palatial safari Sun City wildlife Mon, 16 Sep 2019 15:47:22 GMT
I Dreamed Of Africa  Sometimes dreams can become nightmares. Such is the case of Kuki Gallman, best selling author of I Dreamed of Africa. This, her first book and autobiography became a feature film starring Kim Basinger.

 Kuki was born on June 1, 1943, the daughter of Italian climber and writer Cino Boccazzi. She, her husband and son moved to Kenya in 1972. They acquired a 98,000 acre cattle ranch named Ol ari Nyiro in Western Laikipia in Kenya's Great Rift Valley. Both her husband, Paolo, and son, Emanuele, died in accidents within a few years. Afterwards, deciding to stay in Kenya, Kuki founded the Gallman Memorial Foundation (GMF) in memory of her husband and son. GMF promotes the environmental education of Kenyan students and the peaceful coexistence of African people and wildlife. She dedicated Ol ari Nyiro to this ideal, converting it into Laikipia Nature Conservancy, a biodiversity oasis and the only pristine forest in the area. The area, including the Mukutan Gorge, is home to endangered animals such as the elephant, cheetah and 470 species of birds. Not only is the Conservancy an area of outstanding natural beauty, but also, as a result of the protection that has benefited for over forty years under Kuki's guardianship, the natural springs were preserved and Ol Ari Nyiro now serves as the Water Tower for the Great Rift Valley Lakes.

 In 2006 Kuki founded the Great Rift Valley Trust with her daughter Sveva. The Trust's main objective was to bring attention to environmental topics through art. The Trust in 2008 also co-produced the Laikipia Highland Games, an effort to promote peace through sports among previously warring tribes. "Prayers for the Earth" was founded in 2010, an effort to join tribal elders and youth with their environment and traditional worship. In 2011, she and her daughter acquired and donated 300 acres for "Land of Hope", to benefit impoverished communities. This project provided a vocational center for women and youth, a nursery school and feeding program, a dispensary and an athletic training center.

  However, in 2017, peace would be disrupted when police shot and killed 100 cattle of encroaching cattle herders. In retaliation, a group of Pokot bandits, in March of 2017, looted and burned Kuki's Mukutan Retreat (shown before and after above). Kuki would be shot by Pokot militia in April of that same year while patrolling the Conservancy.

 After the event took place, Kuki wrote of her Mukutan Retreat,

"It is a sacred place like the beginning of a journey - a place to dream and pray.
You hear the sound of water,
do not quite see the waterfalls
it stirs your urge to explore.

I spent time there in silence.
After much soul searching
driven by inspiration
Like a pilgrimage
Humble respectful focused
caring for the smallest detail-
I built a place.
I called it The Mukutan Retreat.

They burnt it down to ashes..."



[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) Gallman Memorial Foundation Great Rift Valley Trust Kuki Gallman Laikipia Nature Conservancy Mukutan Retreat Ol ari Nyiro Fri, 13 Sep 2019 18:06:41 GMT
Global Swarming

 Recently, the media has swarmed about stirring up the fear of climate change or global warming, conservatives against liberals and liberals against conservatives. If you take a minute to read the Scripture, we find that man will not destroy this planet, it is the Lord that has that control. Although, as the following states, it is man's transgression that has cursed this land:

 "Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him. The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word. The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left." - Isaiah 24:1-6.

  We have drastically impacted our world. The earth has definitely been defiled by its inhabitants. Each one of us has made and makes an impact on our environment every day. The purchases we make, the things we create, the clutter we collect and the trash we accumulate leave an impact. The things we release into the air and water or the things we put in the soil all leave a footprint. Just as the verse above states we are all guilty, from the clergy to the banker. 

 However, it does not have to continue like that. Just as we have had a negative effect, we can have a positive effect on our surroundings. The recent debate over the use of plastic straws has been laughable. Please understand, I love sea turtles as much as the next guy. But, what about the plastic forks, spoons, knives and sporks? And, I could continue with plates, balloons, tablecloths, bags, party favors, cups, bottles... Straws are just the tip of the iceberg. The debate should be 1) HOW we dispose of these items, and, 2)  WHY are we not recycling that material? We have heard "Reduce, Reuse and Recycle" for years and we all know the effect these items have on our wildlife. Why do we continue to trash our world? Let us begin to make good choices, let us clean up after ourselves, let us teach others by our own example. We can make a positive impact with a little bit of effort.

 God's creation has a way of healing itself, too. He resets global balance with floods, fires, storms, heat, cold, and, even, time. For example, I grew up in rural middle Tennessee. And, I remember older folk that lived in our area. They would marry, work the land, raise a family and, eventually, pass away and be buried, sometimes on the land on which they had labored for so long. But, if the land was not tended afterwards, if the fields were not plowed, if the trees were not trimmed or lawns manicured, nature would soon reclaim that habitation. The house and barns would eventually break down and surrender to the weather and vegetation. As seasons would come and go, the tractors would rust in the fields, rubber tires would dry rot, breaking down little by little. Within a few years, you would never believe that the land was ever touched, much less worked, by human hands for so many years. This evidence is seen in the recent discovery of Mayan temples and villages reclaimed by the South American jungles.

 We must acknowledge God's control and respect the laws of nature, being good stewards of the gift He has given to us. Now, get out there and hug a tree!!


[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) balance climate change global warming God's creation healing nature pollution recycling trash wildlife Thu, 12 Sep 2019 16:17:14 GMT
Romance And Adventure

 While other kids read the detective and mystery collections of the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, I was always drawn to the romance and adventure of Edgar Rice Burrough's Tarzan.

 Edgar Rice Burroughs was born on September 1, 1875 in Chicago, Illinois. His father was a Civil War veteran and businessman. Following in his father's military footsteps and after failing the entrance exam to West Point, Burroughs enlisted into the military at Fort Grant in Arizona. After being diagnosed with a heart problem, which made him ineligible to serve, he was discharged in 1897. He took on odd jobs including; being a cowboy, working at his father's battery factory, managing a mining company, and a position with the Oregon Short Line railroad. Burroughs had married his childhood sweetheart, Emma Hulbert, in 1900, and, in 1913, they had their third and last child. After seven years of low wages as a pencil-sharpener wholesaler, he began to write fiction. In 1912, his best known literary character, Tarzan, first appeared in Tarzan of the Apes, a magazine publication and in book form in 1914. Tarzan would appear in 25 sequels and many films including television and movies.

 Tarzan is the son of a British lord and lady who are marooned on the coast of an African jungle. His father is killed by an ape named Kerchak. His mother dies and the infant Tarzan is raised by Kala, his adoptive ape mother. At age eighteen, Tarzan meets the love of his life, an American girl named Jane Porter, whom he later marries, leaves the jungle, goes to England, finds civilization not so great, returns to Africa and creates an estate that becomes the base for future adventures.

  Wikipedia states, "Tarzan was a cultural sensation when introduced. Burroughs was determined to capitalize on Tarzan's popularity in every way possible. He planned to exploit Tarzan through several different media including a syndicated Tarzan comic strip, movies, and merchandise. Experts in the field advised against this course of action, stating that the different media would just end up competing against each other. Burroughs went ahead, however, and proved the experts wrong – the public wanted Tarzan in whatever fashion he was offered. Tarzan remains one of the most successful fictional characters to this day and is a cultural icon."

   In the 1920's, Burroughs became a pilot and bought his own airplane. He divorced Emma in 1934 and married a former actress, Florence Gilbert Dearholt, a former wife of his friend and business partner, Ashton Dearholt, whom he had co-founded Burroughs-Tarzan Enterprises while filming The New Adventures of Tarzan. Burroughs adopted Dearholt's two children, but, would divorce Florence in 1942.

 Burroughs was in Honolulu at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Though in his late sixties, he applied and received permission to become a war correspondent, becoming one of the oldest in World War II. When the war ended he move to Encino, California. And after many health issues, he died of a heart attack on March 19, 1950. He is buried in Tarzana, California, a neighborhood on the site of a former ranch owned by Burroughs. When he died, he was believed to be the writer who had made the most from films, earning over $2 million in royalties from 27 Tarzan films.

 "Edgar Rice Burroughs never would have looked upon himself as a social mover and shaker with social obligations. But as it turns out – and I love to say it because it upsets everyone terribly – Burroughs is probably the most influential writer in the entire history of the world. By giving romance and adventure to a whole generation of boys, Burroughs caused them to go out and decide to become special." - Ray Bradbury.


[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) adventure Africa apes Edgar Rice Burroughs fiction film icon jungle romance Tarzan writer Wed, 11 Sep 2019 19:02:09 GMT
The Guardian Of Eden

 God gives us an enormous responsibility in the first chapter of the first book of the Bible. Speaking of Adam and Eve, it reads, "And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." - Genesis 1:28.

 To understand what God actually expected of them we must examine the verbs of "subdue" and "have dominion". Since much of the Bible was written in Hebrew, it would make sense to study the terms in Hebrew. The Hebrew word for "subdue" is kavash, as in "put the kavash on it", meaning "make an end of something or bring into submission." The Hebrew word for "have dominion" is radah. This verb literally means "to rule by going down and walking among the subjects as an equal." The use of these two words implies that man is to rule over the earthly creation as his subjects, not as a dictator, but as a benevolent leader. Man is also to walk among and have a relationship with his subjects so that they can provide for man and that man can "learn" from them. In other words, we are to be guardians, or stewards of the Eden God has created.

 Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton (pictured above), zoologist and conservationist, does just that. Living in Kenya for most of his life, he has become a guardian for the African elephant. (I guess you can say that he is my hero.) Iain moved to Africa at the age of 23, married and raised a family while living among these gentle giants. He has literally walked among the elephants. In 1993, Iain founded the organization Save the Elephants, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. Their Mission Statement reads, "Our mission is to secure a future for elephants and to sustain the beauty and ecological integrity of the places they live; to promote man’s delight in their intelligence and the diversity of their world, and to develop a tolerant relationship between the two species." Sound familiar? Their collection of data including animal behavior, poaching hot spots and migrations proves invaluable in landscape planning and animal protection. Thus, making them a responsible guardian of these creatures.

 As I have said before, I believe, as stated in the book of Job, that elephants are chief in the ways of God. What better creature to protect and learn from than the elephant? The mission is urgent as the greed for ivory increases. Statistics now show that an elephant is killed every fifteen minutes just for its tusks. At that rate, the African elephant will become just a memory in a few short years.

 Elephants are just part of the story. Creatures of all kinds are being exploited and killed for one reason or another, many to the edge of extinction. Our planet groans from the stress we have placed upon it. We have drastically polluted the air, water and soil. I fear we have disappointed God in our failed stewardship. His glorious creation deserves better. May we all pick up the task and help those like Iain to secure a future for God's creatures and sustain (or regain) the beauty that was bestowed upon us all.

 Let us all be successful Guardians of Eden.


[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) beauty creation Eden elephant future God Iain Douglas-Hamilton responsibility Save the Elephants stewardship Tue, 10 Sep 2019 05:28:22 GMT

 Maxfield Parrish's painting Daybreak (1922) has always been one of my most favorite pieces of artwork. And, rightly so, as it has been regarded as the most popular art print of the 20th century, based on number of prints made, one for every four American homes. Still in print, it has outsold Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans and Da Vinci's Last Supper. Parrish even considered it his "greatest painting", the epitome of his work.

 Parrish was an American painter and illustrator born in 1870. His work was known for the distinctive saturated hues and idealized neo-classical imagery. He achieved his vibrant luminous colors through a glazing process, which he discovered during a bout of tuberculosis in 1890. The color Parrish Blue was named after him. He was raised in a Quaker home where he, as a child, began drawing for his own entertainment. With his parents' encouragement, he sharpened his skills, and, by 1910, he was making over $100,000 a year, at a time when houses sold for $2,000. American painter Norman Rockwell considered Parrish as, "my idol".

 Pencil studies for the painting shows three female figures, using his regular models, Kitty Owen, Susan Lewin and Parrish's youngest child, a daughter named Jean. Kitty Owen was the granddaughter of William Jennings Bryan, religious advocate during the Scope's Monkey Trial in 1925. The third figure, originally planned to share the space with the right hand column, did not make it to the final painting.

 The painting has always been in private ownership. Daybreak was purchased by a private collector (Mel Gibson's then-wife, Robyn) on May 25, 2006 at a Christie's auction for $7.6 million, setting a record for Parrish's works. It sold again in 2010 for $5.2 million. Which goes to prove my wife's charge that I have expensive taste.

 Pop culture continues to be influenced by Parrish's works, including album covers for Elton John, The Moody Blues, Peter Murphy and Mick Karn and Enya. Michael Jackson also emulated Daybreak in his music video, "You Are Not Alone" with Lisa Marie Presley.

 Parrish developed arthritis and accepted his last commission in the late 1950's. By 1960, arthritis had put an end to his painting. He spent his last years in a wheelchair. He died on March 30, 1966 at the age of 95.




[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) American Daybreak drawing illustrator Maxfield Parrish neo-classical painting pop culture Quaker Sun, 08 Sep 2019 21:41:51 GMT
Spirit Of Africa

 Who doesn't love an airplane with giraffe spots? And, not only an airplane, but, a boat that can land on the water!! This is the Spirit of Africa, a plane owned by Martin and Osa Johnson mentioned in an earlier blog. The plane is a Sikorsky S-39, a single engine plane. The Johnsons owned a second, a Sikorsky S-38, Osa's Ark, with zebra stripes and two engines. These planes were the first ever to fly over Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa's tallest peak.

 The Johnsons' feat would have been impossible without the designer of these two planes, Igor Ivanovich Sikorsky. Sikorsky was a Russian aviation pioneer born in 1889. He immigrated to the United States in 1919 and in 1923 founded the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation. He developed the first of Pan American's ocean-conquering flying boats in the 1930's. In 1939 he designed and flew the Vought-Sikorsky VS-300, the first viable American helicopter, which pioneered the rotor configuration used by most helicopters today. Sikorsky modified the design into the Sikorsky R-4, which became the world's first mass produced helicopter in 1942.

 Homeschooled by his mother, Sikorsky developed a great love for art, especially in the life and work of Leonardo da Vinci, and the stories of Jules Verne. Through his father he acquired his interest in the natural sciences, which led to experimentation with model flying machines. By age 12, he had created a rubber band powered helicopter.

 Sikorsky was a deeply religious Russian Orthodox Christian. He authored two religious and philosophical books, The Message of the Lord's Prayer and The Invisible Encounter. He once summarized his beliefs writing, "Our concerns sink into insignificance when compared with the eternal value of human personality – a potential child of God which is destined to triumph over life, pain, and death. No one can take this sublime meaning of life away from us, and this is the one thing that matters."

 He achieved many great things during his lifetime, far too many to include in this small blog. But, his invention of the flying boat changed how and where people traveled, opening up even deepest darkest Africa. A world of cultures, peoples and wildlife was revealed like never before. 

 Sikorsky died at his home in Easton, Connecticut on October 26, 1972.

[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) Africa airplane American art designer flying boat helicopter Igor Sikorsky natural science Fri, 06 Sep 2019 19:22:09 GMT
On Safari: The Story Of My Life

 In junior high, I was tasked to choose a book from the school library, read it and write, probably, my first ever official, book report. I was never an avid reader and shuttered at the thought of having to read a book of any length in a given amount of time. But, I took courage and to no surprise to those that knew me, I chose the autobiography of wildlife photographer, Armand Denis, titled, On Safari: The Story of My Life. It was not a book recommended for the faint of heart as it included photos of hunts by tribal natives with one that still haunts me today, an image of a gorilla pierced through the chest with an incredible look of fear and horror frozen on its face. To top it off, the book included 320 pages. Other students were choosing other books that may have topped out at 125 pages!! What was I thinking??

 I muddled through and turned in the report. For lack of memory, I do not remember my grade. However, the book and its images were engraved in my brain. Decades later I have a copy of that book, published in 1963, in my African reading collection. And, I could almost claim the title of that book for my own life.

 Armand Denis was born in 1896, in Belgium. Like many of my other blog subjects, he developed an interest of travel and the natural world as a child. He fought in the First World War, before escaping to England, where he studied chemistry at Oxford. He worked for the Royal Aircraft Establishment on lubricating oils, and, on coke oven technology upon returning to Belgium. He moved to the United States and in 1926, he invented a system of automatic volume control for radio. The royalties from that invention would bankroll his love of travel and movie making. Armand moved to Hollywood to work as a cameraman with Andre Roosevelt, a first cousin of Theodore Roosevelt. He and Roosevelt set out for Bali to film Goona Goona, a dramatic/romantic film about a Balinese prince and a servant girl. The film released in 1930 with an American censored version released in 1932. The film's success brought Armand to the attention of the cinema industry. And, in 1934, he directed Wild Cargo, featuring adventurer and animal collector Frank Buck.

 Armand married Roosevelt's daughter, Leila, who traveled with him to film native peoples of the African Congo. They would continue to make short documentaries together through the late 1930's and in 1944 produce Dangerous Journey, a film of the couples' travels. But, in 1948, Armand would meet Michaela Holdsworth, a British dress designer in New York. An affair would ensue, leading to the divorce of Armand and Leila. Armand married Michaela in Bolivia. Armand would continue making films, but, with Michaela, rather than Leila.

 The newlyweds would travel to Africa in 1950 to work on the film, King Solomon's Mines, in which Michaela acted as Deborah Kerr's double. The couple produced Below the Sahara in 1953. The BBC picked up on the couple's chemistry and used them as presenters in a television series, Filming Wild Animals in 1954. The quality of Armand Denis' film-making, combined with his heavy accent and Michaela's enthusiasm and glamorous appeal, made them fixtures on BBC TV screens during the 1950s and early 1960s, revolutionizing wildlife documentaries on television.

 The couple made their home in Nairobi, Kenya. Both tried their hand at writing, Michaela with Leopard in My Lap (1955), Ride on a Rhino (1960), and At Home With Michaela (1965), and, Armand with his autobiography mentioned earlier in 1963. Armand died of Parkinson's disease in 1971. In 1975, Michaela married her lawyer, but, he would die three months into the marriage. Michaela died in Nairobi in 2003 at the age of 88.

 The following quote from Armand is a testament to the lives they lived. It would have been very easy and very simple to have performed other careers, and lived quite comfortably. However, stepping out of the norm and living a different life, a unique life, made a world of difference. Others, like myself, have been intrigued and inspired to see that not all lives have to be of the cookie-cutter variety. One can live with adventure and beauty.

" The only principle I have ever worked to has always been to do whatever interested me at the time. I have gambled quite consciously with myself and with my career. Just occasionally I regret the settled, comfortable life I might have led as a research scientist, but if I had stayed on in the laboratory instead of taking the gamble that I have been living ever since, I would have led a life that hundreds of other people could have performed equally well. Instead I have lived a life that, whatever its faults, has been unique." - Armand Denis


[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) animal Armand Denis autobiography film-making life Michaela Denis native safari tribal wild wildlife Fri, 06 Sep 2019 03:32:07 GMT
I Had A Farm In Africa...

 In 1985 a film was released titled, Out of Africa, an American epic romantic drama, directed and produced by Sydney Pollack, and starred Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. The movie was loosely based on the book of the same name with additional material from the book, Shadows on the Grass. Both books were written by Isak Dinesen (one of the pen names for author Karen Blixen, pictured above). Despite mixed reviews, the film won seven Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director.

 The film begins with Meryl Streep's voice, "I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills", as a train travels through the vast beautiful plains of the Kenyan Rift Valley near the Ngong Hills. The passenger car was actually a small office/sleeper car used by supervisors in the building of the Uganda Railway and was the actual car from which a man was taken and killed by a marauding lioness. Out of Africa was filmed using descendants of several people of the Kikuyu tribe who are named in the book, including the grandson of chief Kinyanjui who played his grandfather.

 Karen Blixen was born Karen Dinesen on April 17, 1885. She was a Danish author who wrote works both in Danish and English. She is best known under the pen name, Isak Dinesen, for her English readers, and Tania Blixen, for her German readers. She has also published works under the name Osceola, (the name of her father's dog) and Pierre Andrezel. Karen's early years were greatly influenced by her father's relaxed manner and his love for the outdoor life. His carefree lifestyle would bring on syphilis and bouts of depression, causing him to hang himself in 1895, just short of Karen's tenth birthday.

 Arriving in Kenya in December of 1913, following her fiancee, Baron Bror Blixen-Finecke, she married on January 14, 1914 in Mombasa. But, Bror was unfaithful and Karen was diagnosed with syphilis before the end of her first year of marriage. The Blixen couple's first plan was to raise cattle on their new Kenyan farm, but, found coffee a more profitable option. Karen's medical treatment would prove a strain on the marriage and Bror requested a divorce in 1920, they separated in 1921 and were divorced in 1925. Karen would take over managing the farm.

 By this time Karen had met big game hunter, Denys Finch Hatton, and had created a close friendship that turned into a long term love affair. Denys would make Karen's farm his base for his safari business. However, the coffee plantation was failing despite Karen's efforts. And, in 1931, news arrived that Denys had been killed in a plane crash. Denys was buried in the Ngong Hills. His gravesite bears a plaque with a quote from Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, "He prayeth well, who loveth well both man and bird and beast".

Karen returned to Denmark to live with her mother, never to return to Kenya. She died in 1962 at the age of 77, possibly due to anorexia nervosa.


"He prayeth well, who loveth well

Both man and bird and beast.

He prayeth best, who loveth best

All things both great and small ;

For the dear God who loveth us,

He made and loveth all. "

[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) Africa coffee Denys Finch Hatton Isak Dinesen Karen Blixen Kenya Out of Africa Samuel Taylor Coleridge Shadows on the Grass Wed, 04 Sep 2019 16:42:40 GMT
Dr. Livingstone, I Presume?

 Henry Morton Stanley was dispatched by the New York Herald newspaper in 1869 to find the lost missionary, Dr. David Livingstone. Livingstone had been missing for six years in the jungles of Africa. And, on the 10th of November 1871, Stanley succeeded in finding him on the banks of Lake Tanganyika. The words of this first meeting, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" by Stanley, and the reply by Livingstone, "Yes", and then "I feel thankful that I am here to welcome you", may have been a fabrication by the newspaper.  However, the words are synonymous when speaking of the ill-fated missionary. 

 David Livingstone was born in Scotland on March 19, 1813, the second of seven children born to Neil Livingstone, a Sunday School teacher who passed out Christian tracts as he sold tea door to door. Neil was immersed in reading books on theology, travel and missionary efforts. This all rubbed off onto young David, who became an avid reader. David also became interested in the sciences and the discovery of animal and plant specimens embedded in limestone in a nearby quarry. His father feared that his love of science would steer him from his theological beliefs and the Bible. But, the deep interest in nature drove David to investigate the relationship between religion and science.

 With a desire to go to China to become a medical missionary, David acquired the skills needed, learning Greek, Latin and Hebrew. He applied to the join the London Missionary Society and was accepted for missionary training. In September of 1839, the First Opium War, or Anglo-Chinese War, broke out in China, and David's intentions were sidelined. While continuing his medical studies in London, he met African missionary, Robert Moffat, in 1840. Moffat was on leave from Kuruman, a missionary outpost in South Africa. David was excited to hear of Moffat's vision to expand the missionary work northward. Livingstone was deeply influenced by Moffat's judgement that he was the right person to go to the vast plains to the north of Bechuanaland, (now the Republic of Botswana), where he had glimpsed "the smoke of a thousand villages, where no missionary had ever been".

  David would visit the area of Mabotsa of Botswana, a place where villagers were terrorized by lions attacking the livestock day and night. He believed that if he were to kill one of the marauding lions, the others would be warned to leave the livestock alone. Livingstone then leads the villagers on a lion hunt, and, seeing a large lion, he fires, just injuring the beast. While David is re-loading, the lion attacks, biting him in the shoulder and seriously breaking and wounding his left arm, which remained a source of much suffering the rest of his life.

 Livingstone would go on to travel and explore the secrets of Africa, discovering the waterfall with "the smoke of a thousand villages", which he named Victoria Falls, after Queen Victoria. He would marry in 1845 the daughter of missionary Robert Moffat, who would follow him to Africa, endure very poor health and die of malaria on April 27, 1862.

 David, himself, would succumb to malaria and internal bleeding from dysentery in 1873. He was found kneeling by his bedside. His attendants, Chuma and Susi, removed his heart and buried it under a nearby baobab tree, saying, his heart belonged to Africa. His body was carried for 63 days by Chuma and Susi to the coastal town of Bagamoyo, and, then taken by ship to London to be buried at Westminster Abbey.

 Although being known as "Africa's Greatest Missionary", Livingstone is recorded to have only converted one African, a chief of the Kwena tribe named Sechele, who remained faithful to the Christian faith. Sechele led missionaries to the surrounding tribes and nearly converted all of his own Kwena tribe. In one estimation it is said that Sechele "did more to propagate Christianity in 19th-century southern Africa than virtually any single European missionary".




[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) Africa David Livingstone Henry Morton Stanley lion missionary Robert Moffat Sechele Victoria Falls Tue, 03 Sep 2019 17:16:43 GMT

  Wikipedia defines the word as thus, "Ubuntu is a Nguni Bantu term meaning "humanity." It is often translated as "I am because we are," or "humanity towards others," but is often used in a more philosophical sense to mean "the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity."

 I have heard it described by this illustration, "An anthropologist proposed a game to the kids in an African tribe. He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told them that whoever got their first won the sweet fruits. When he gave them the signal to run they all took each other's hands and ran together, then sat in a circle enjoying their treats. When he asked why they chose to run as a group when they could have had more fruit individually, one child spoke up and said, 'UBUNTU, how can one of us be happy if all the others are sad?'"

 Jesus spoke a parable that parallels this philosophy. Matthew 20 tells us the parable of the vineyard workers who come in to work at different times of the day, but, at the end of the day, each worker is paid the same. This angers the workers who spent more hours on the job. They didn't understand what Jesus had shared earlier in the last verse of Matthew 19, "But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first." UBUNTU, we are the same, equal; therefore we shall share the kingdom together, just as the children in the illustration shared their tasty reward. How could we be happy if everyone else is sad?

 In God's eyes we are all His creation, no matter the color of our skin, the place we may live, or the wealth we may obtain. The world would be a much better (and happier) place if we could grasp this concept.


[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) equal first Jesus kingdom last parable reward share ubuntu Mon, 02 Sep 2019 15:50:48 GMT
Zebras, Like Women, Cannot Be Tamed

 Many refer to me as being different, strange, crazy, odd, or, even a bit eccentric. I guess that is a product of one of my personality traits, mentioned in an earlier blog. But, it seems that many that love Africa and the animals that abide therein share this quirk, especially, those from the Victorian era.

 One such character was Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild. That name may sound familiar to my regular blog readers as Lord Rothschild identified the "Rothschild" subspecies of giraffe during a trip to East Africa in the early 1900s. Daisy from my earlier Raising Daisy Rothschild blog, was a Rothschild giraffe.

 Rothschild was born in 1868, a son of an extremely wealthy banking family. He was obsessed with animals from a very young age, and spent hours studying the insects in his family's garden. As his interest grew, his family funded his efforts to begin a collection of various, insects, birds and mammals. By the time he entered university, Rothschild had accumulated kangaroos, emus, zebras, wild horses, cranes, storks, a spiny anteater and a pangolin.

 Once his studies were through, he was expected to go into the family business, which he did for 15 years, though his heart was not in it. Rothschild wanted to expand his animal collection. Supported by his families wealth, Rothschild employed people to collect his specimens from all over the globe. He opened a zoo in Tring, England, about forty miles out of London, where he housed his new menagerie of creatures, some stuffed from earlier collections. He eventually compiled what is said to be the largest collection of animal samples ever amassed by a private individual with over 300,000 bird skins, 200,000 bird eggs, 30,000 beetles and numerous mammals and reptiles. As a result of his animal studies, Rothschild identified 153 new insects, 58 types of birds, three spiders and, of course, the aforementioned giraffe.

 Although a bit strange, having a tortoise that he would occasionally ride, dangling a lettuce leaf in front of the creature to inspire movement, he was very serious about collecting and recording exotic species. Speaking of riding, Rothschild rejected the accepted belief that zebras were untameable. He set out to prove otherwise, hiring a horse trainer who worked with the animals until they finally were able to pull a cart (as shown above). Rothschild then drove a carriage being pulled by six zebras across London and up to Buckingham Palace, achieving the illusion of tame zebras just like an English Phineas T. Barnum. Although Rothschild pulled it off, the consensus still holds true today. While one-off attempts to tame a single zebra may be successful, domesticating them, breeding captive herds specifically for human use, has proved impossible. Zebras continue to be wild animals.

 Of all of his love for nature, Rothschild had a special attraction to the Cassowary, a large colorful flightless bird of Papua, New Guinea. He obsessively collected the birds, alive and dead, studied their plumage, their habits and behaviors. And, in 1900, he published his magnum opus, a monograph of the Genus Casuarius, complete with numerous colored illustrations of the birds.

 In 1931, Rothschild's ideal world would start coming apart at the seams when, surprisingly, he sold his vast bird collection to the American Museum of Natural History for a mere $225,000. The acquisition was a steal, as the collection had an estimated worth of $2,000,000. Rothschild's health began to fail and in August of 1937 he died.

 Turns out that Rothschild had kept a secret during his lifetime, he had been financially supporting two mistresses. He had put both women up in London apartments and juggled his time with both women, until one found out about the other. The two then combined forces and, literally, took Rothschild to the cleaners. But, this was not the nail in the coffin that caused the bargain sale of birds. In 1983, forty six years after his death, it was revealed that Rothschild had had a third lover who proceeded with blackmail, which increased his stress, along with other health issues and pushed him into making the incredible deal to the museum.

 Apparently, crazy old Rothschild had attempted taming and collecting a new species...the human female.

[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) blackmail Cassowary collections creatures eccentric Lionel Walter Rothschild menagerie Victorian wealth Fri, 30 Aug 2019 17:05:30 GMT
The Big Five  If you have ever booked a safari, you know to what the term, The Big Five, refers. The phrase was originally coined by early game hunters who recognized that these species were the hardest and most dangerous animals to hunt on foot, thus, making them the biggest prizes, and, hence, labeled the Big Five. Today, the phrase refers to the most sought-after-safari-sightings. These include the African leopard, the African elephant, the African cape buffalo, the African rhinoceros and the African lion.

 But, did you know that The Big Five also refers to the five basic dimensions of personality?  These are also known as the big five personality traits. These include; extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism.

 "You might find it helpful to use the acronym OCEAN (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism) when trying to remember the big five traits. CANOE (for concienciousness, agreeableness, neuroticism, openness, and extraversion) is another commonly used acronym."

 I found it very interesting once I saw the breakdown of each trait. See how you rate among these attributes:


 This trait features characteristics such as imagination and insight. People who are high in this trait also tend to have a broad range of interests. They are curious about the world and other people and eager to learn new things and enjoy new experiences.

 People who are high in this trait tend to be more adventurous and creative. People low in this trait are often much more traditional and may struggle with abstract thinking.


 Standard features of this dimension include high levels of thoughtfulness, good impulse control, and goal-directed behaviors. Highly conscientious people tend to be organized and mindful of details. They plan ahead, think about how their behavior affects others, and are mindful of deadlines.


 Extraversion (or extroversion) is characterized by excitability, sociability, talkativeness, assertiveness, and high amounts of emotional expressiveness. People who are high in extraversion are outgoing and tend to gain energy in social situations. Being around other people helps them feel energized and excited.

 People who are low in extraversion (or introverted) tend to be more reserved and have less energy to expend in social settings. Social events can feel draining and introverts often require a period of solitude and quiet in order to "recharge."


 This personality dimension includes attributes such as trust, altruism, kindness, affection, and other prosocial behaviors. People who are high in agreeableness tend to be more cooperative while those low in this trait tend to be more competitive and sometimes even manipulative.


 Neuroticism is a trait characterized by sadness, moodiness, and emotional instability.

 Individuals who are high in this trait tend to experience mood swings, anxiety, irritability, and sadness. Those low in this trait tend to be more stable and emotionally resilient."

 Personality affects and influences us all. Knowing these traits may help us to be more socially responsible, helping us to become more selfless and more sensitive to the needs of those around us.

 Based on the article, The Big Five Personality Traits 5 Major factors of Personality by Kendra Cherry, MS, author and educational consultant.

 Images courtesy and copyright of Andreas Berlin, Nam Anh, Charl Durand, David Clode, Amar Yashlaha of





[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) Africa agreeableness conscientiousness extraversion neuroticism openness personality the big five trait Thu, 29 Aug 2019 18:05:00 GMT
Character of God

 Merriam Webster defines CHARACTER as: a)  one of the attributes or features that make up and distinguish an individual, b) moral excellence and firmness, or c) main or essential nature especially as strongly marked and serving to distinguish. Some define it in one word, "reputation". When we speak of the "character of God", we can use the same definitions.

 I teach a teen-aged Sunday School class each Sunday. This past Sunday I taught on the story of Uzza (or Uzzah). This account is actually found two places in the Bible, (I Chronicles 13 and II Samuel 6), which I find makes it doubly important that we understand what is written. The account, though troubled as David as I read, gives us a glimpse of the true character of God.

 David inquires of the leaders of Israel about their feelings on bringing the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem as it had been displaced for several years. Everyone agrees, and a new ox cart is built to transport the artifact back to their homeland. David gathers musicians to play as Abinidab's sons, Ahio and Uzza, drive the oxen, with the Ark aboard. But, during the transfer, an ox stumbles, the load shifts and Uzza immediately puts his hand on the Ark to stabilize the load. God's anger was kindled against Uzza for his error, touching the Ark, and struck him dead on the spot, beside the cart.

 David was very displeased that God had acted in such a terrible way for Uzza was just trying to prevent the Ark from falling. And, as I said before, upon reading, I felt much like David, feeling sympathy for dearly departed Uzza. But, in verse two of chapter 15 of I Chronicles, David realizes his mistake, "Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the Lord chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him for ever." In Exodus 25 God had given Moses instructions on how the Ark should be transported, using the staves through rings on the side of the Ark, and only carried on the shoulders of the Levites. David might as well thrown the Ark in the back of a U-haul. God was displeased and David, now, knew what he had done. His selfish and careless actions alone had caused the death of Uzza.

 We must realize, like David, God is holy and is sovereign. He does not need our agreement, acceptance or permission. If God gives an instruction, it must be carried out just as He said. If not, the punishment dictated will be the punishment served. He is a JUST Judge. Think of it like this, if God did not follow through with his punishment, how could we trust Him at His word. (Much like a parent that keeps letting us off the hook for not taking the trash out, how could we believe that we would ever be truly grounded.) I do not believe that God wanted to strike down Uzza, but, His character demanded that He do so. God is HOLY and deserves to be respected and obeyed. If He says to do it, we should do it. If He says not to do it, we ought not to do it.

 This account of Uzza's error is not the only time God had to stand behind His word. Adam and Eve in the garden decide to throw God's instructions aside and do what pleases them, God's word says because they disobeyed, they will die and they do. Noah preached that rain was coming. And, after following God's instructions to build a large ark, the rains came just as He said. His people were told to multiply the earth and they chose to disobey, stay in one place and build a tower to themselves, God scattered them and divided the earth. The Bible is filled with acts of God that prove His character over and over, including the prophecy of His only Son, Jesus, coming and dying on a cross for me and you. He said it, it came to pass.

 It is because of that "attribute", that "moral excellence", that "essential nature", and, that "reputation" of God, that makes it possible for us to believe and trust in Him. No matter how cruel or insignificant it may seem to us, we must understand that God is always true to His Word. He loves us and wants the best for us. His character testifies of this. He is worthy to be praised.

[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) attribute belief Bible character essential nature God holy moral excellence reputation trust Uzza Mon, 26 Aug 2019 16:24:56 GMT
Climbing Our Family Tree  One of the greatest questions is history has been, "where did we come from?". As a self-proclaimed genealogist, I explore just that. With now over 52,000 relatives entered into my own personal tree, I am finding that my ancestors sometimes overlap others that have requested my assistance in their own tree. Without a doubt, we all belong to the same family tree and DNA testing is proving that there is no race other than the Human Race.

 As a child, no one spoke of my ancestors past my great grandparents. When I discuss genealogy lines with various families, I find this to be true with many. Why do we not speak of our ancestors? Discovering your long ago relatives can bring a sense of pride in your heritage. But, I believe for the most part, it brings a humility and appreciation of how blessed we are to be living in the present. Bits of history are rewritten as many history books tend to leave the whole story untold. I believe that once we know more of the full story, we have a better respect and understanding for others around us. We clear up misconceptions about decisions our ancestors made or may find that that unbelievable notorious family legend is true after all.

 You may be surprised who resides among the limbs of your tree. I have found presidents such as George Washington and George Bush, and celebrities like Dick van Dyke and Carol Burnett, in my tree. In addition, Scarlett Johansson and I share Charlemagne as an ancestor, which also confirms the DNA Viking haplogroup to which I belong. If you need help with your tree, contact me at Safari Studio Adventures.

 The tree pictured above is the baobab tree in Africa. Some are said to be 6,000 years old, which, coincidentally, is about the same age as our written history. We are not nearly as old as some scientists would have you think. You have heard me talk on African animal migrations before, but, what greater migration is there than the human migration?

 So, I will ask you, "where did YOU come from?"



[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) ancestor baobab discovery DNA family family tree genealogy haplogroup human migration relative Sat, 24 Aug 2019 16:41:57 GMT
The Roots Of Africa

 For years I have studied the animals of Africa, always intrigued with the amazing array of spots, stripes, horns and tusks. And, I am not alone. Along with studying the animals, one must also study those that have made efforts to protect those wild creatures and the wild habitat in which they exist. The conservationists, game wardens and rangers, filmmakers and photographers share that passion with me.

 When I created Safari Studio Adventures, I knew I wanted to educate others on the lives of these wonderfully adventurous people. It seems that their stories, biographies and efforts have been lost in history. Over the years, I have collected the books, films and stories that record the lives of these  daring pioneers. I pray that my efforts may enlighten others on the work done by these forerunners, excite and engage them in sharing the love and passion for the creation that is Africa.

 One such conservationist was Joan Wells-Thorpe Root (pictured above). Joan was born in Nairobi, Kenya in 1936, the daughter of a British banker turned coffee planter. Along with her husband, Alan Root, a very dedicated British-born filmmaker, she documented African wildlife on page and screen. Alan once was referred to as "the man who was eaten alive" by George Plimpton. And, rightly so, for Alan had been chomped in the calf by an angry hippopotamus, torn in the rear end by a leopard, bitten by a puff adder which caused him to lose an index finger and had his thigh ripped open by a mountain gorilla while filming Gorillas in the Mist, the 1988 movie about Dian Fossey. (It was actually Alan who had introduced Dian to gorillas in the first place decades before). 

 Joan and Alan followed the thundering herds of wildebeest across the Serengeti and recorded the migration in The Year of the Wildebeest. For one sequence of that movie they had used a hot air balloon which inspired a second film, Safari by Balloon. During which the couple made the first hot air balloon trip over Mt. Kilimanjaro. One of my earlier blogs noted that the first flight made over this mountain, the tallest in Africa, was accomplished by Martin and Osa Johnson in their Sikorsky planes years earlier. 

 The couple would continue making documentaries and winning awards until their divorce, completed in 1981. Alan would continue filmmaking, but, Joan would take up the conservation and activism effort. She chaired and funded an anti-poaching task force in the Lake Naivasha area. Locals were enraged with the strictly enforced fishing restrictions, with the arresting of fishermen and confiscation and burning of nets. Villagers considered fishing a communal and necessary resource for food.

 On January 13, 2006, Joan was murdered, five days before her 70th birthday, at her home in Lake Naivasha by four men who came to her door carrying AK-47s. There were many suspects such as disgruntled former employees, criminal gangs, organized crime rackets, poachers, those whose economic interests were threatened by her activism and even task force members. The four men were arrested for her murder pleaded not guilty and were acquitted in 2007.

 In March of 2017, Alan was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a most aggressive cancer that begins within the brain. He died on August 26, 2017 in Nanyuki, Kenya at the age of 80.

[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) Africa Alan Root conservationist filmmaker Joan Root Kenya poacher safari Serengeti Fri, 23 Aug 2019 20:58:07 GMT
Osa's Ark Takes Flight

 A few years ago I had the privilege to drive out to Kansas to visit an unusual museum, The Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum of Chanute, Kansas. What?! A "safari" museum in the middle of the United States? Yep. You see, a couple from Chanute caught the safari bug long before safaris were popular. Their thirst for travel was unquenchable and their hunger for adventure, insatiable.

 Martin and Osa Johnson, American adventurers and documentary filmmakers, made their first expedition into Africa from 1921 to 1922. That excursion resulted in their film Trailing Wild African Animals (1923). Their second, and longest, trip, from 1924 to 1927, the Johnsons spent most of their time by a lake they named Lake Paradise in Northern Kenya. The movies Martin's Safari (1928), Osa's Four Years in Paradise (1941), and Simba: King of the Beasts (1928) were made from footage captured during this safari. And, in 1925, the couple would meet a Duke and Duchess while on safari in Kenya who would later become King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Their third trip, from 1927 to 1928, was a tour of the Nile with friend and supporter, George Eastman, founder of Eastman Kodak. This trip would produce the couple's first "talkie", Across the World with Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, narrated by Martin himself.

 In 1932 the Johnsons learned to fly at the Chanute Municipal Airport. Once they had their pilot's licenses, they purchased two Sikorsky amphibious planes, a S-39-CS "Spirit of Africa", painted with giraffe spots and a S-38-BS "Osa's Ark", painted with zebra stripes. On their fifth African trip, from 1933 to 1934, the Johnsons flew the length of Africa getting now classic aerial scenes of large herds of elephants, giraffes, and other animals moving across the plains of Africa. They were the first pilots to fly over Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya in Africa and film them from the air. The 1935 feature film Baboona was made from this footage. On January 3, 1935 Baboona was shown on an Eastern Air Lines plane becoming the first sound movie shown during flight.

 In 1935, the Johnsons were featured on Wheaties cereal boxes as "Champions of Sports." Osa Johnson was the second female to appear on the box and she and Martin were the first married couple selected for this honor.

 The Johnsons would make public appearances sharing the footage of their travels until a plane crash in California in 1937 would claim Martin's life and injure Osa severely. She recovered from those injuries. Her autobiography, I Married Adventure was the best-selling non-fiction book of 1940. After a life of adventure and travel, Osa died of a heart attack in New York in 1953.

 The Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum, created in 1961, still contains the couples' manuscripts, photographs, films, articles, books and personal belongings. The museum shares the beautiful old railroad depot with the Chanute Public Library.

 Martin and Osa were true pioneers in the African documentary field. Others would follow in their footsteps; Bernhard Grzimek, Hugo van Lawick, Alan Root, just to name a few. They were successful in sharing the spirit of adventure with all of us, and, for that we are thankful.


[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) adventure Africa filmmaking George Eastman Martin Johnson museum Osa Johnson safari Sikorsky Wed, 21 Aug 2019 16:42:01 GMT
Me, Tarzan...You, Jane  I talk a lot about one's God-given purpose in life. The Bible states, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” - Jeremiah 1:5. So, God knows us long before we are formed, and, even then, He has plans for each and every one of us. I like having purpose, not just purpose, but, an "ordained by God" purpose and plan for my life.

 In an earlier blog I shared my childhood exposure to all things safari that seems to have led me to where I am today. And, not just today, but, through the rest of my days, because I know God's hand is the One that ordained that path.

 English primatologist and anthropologist, Jane Goodall, seems to have had a similar experience. Valerie Jane Morris-Goodall was born April 3, 1934 in London, England. Her father was a businessman and her mother a novelist. As a child, instead of a teddy bear, Jane's father gave her a stuffed chimpanzee named Jubilee. Her mother's friends were horrified with the toy, thinking it would cause Jane nightmares. Even today, Jubilee still sits on Jane's dresser in London.

 Like myself, Jane had always been passionate about animals and Africa. In 1957, that passion brought her the the farm of a friend in the Kenyan highlands. From there she obtained a position as secretary of Louis Leakey, the notable Kenyan archaeologist and palaeontologist. Leakey then sent Jane to Olduvai Gorge in Tanganyika (present-day Tanzania). In 1958 she would study primate behavior with Osman Hill and primate anatomy with John Napier in London. Leakey raised funds and in 1960 Jane went to Gombe Stream National Park, becoming the first of what would come to be called, the Trimates, or Leakey's Angels, a group of three women (Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas) selected by Leakey for hominid studies in their own environment.

 Jane married twice, first in 1964, to wildlife photographer Hugo van Lawick. The couple had one son, born in 1967, they divorced in 1974. (Hugo died in 2002 and was buried at the place his tent had stood for thirty years in his camp in the Serengeti.) Jane married, secondly, to Derek Bryceson, in 1975, who died of cancer in 1980.

 Sadly, when asked if she believes in God, Jane said in September 2010: "I don't have any idea of who or what God is. But I do believe in some great spiritual power. I feel it particularly when I'm out in nature. It's just something that's bigger and stronger than what I am or what anybody is. I feel it. And it's enough for me." I guess this is proof that you do not have to be a believer to still fulfill God's purpose for your life. As Peter said in Acts 10, "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:"

 Jane is best known for her study of chimpanzee social and family life. She is the only known human to ever be accepted into a chimpanzee society. She continues her efforts to protect the chimpanzee and their habitat. Jane has won many awards and honors for her work, has appeared in many wildlife films, and been the subject of books and television programs.

 I do wonder what she could have done in life if she ever found out who God is. Hopefully, she will discover that truth before it is too late.


[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) Africa chimpanzee God Jane Goodall Leakey passion purpose wildlife Tue, 20 Aug 2019 21:18:06 GMT
An African Love Story

  I believe that once our lives on Earth are complete, a legacy should be left behind, a sort of mantle like that that fell from Elijah in the Bible. I am speaking of that life-long work that is ordained and touched by God. In 2018, Daphne Sheldrick, the sweet lady pictured above, succumbed to the evil that is cancer. Her life and work was, no doubt, touched by God. Always writing of the African experience, I felt it necessary to share her legacy. Though I could attempt to write the account, I could not top the following from The Guardian.

 Very few obituaries come close to this one:

 "Dame Daphne Sheldrick obituary

 Renowned conservationist dedicated to saving orphaned elephants and releasing them back into the wild

 Elephant babies like coconut oil. This discovery has saved the life of hundreds of orphaned, unweaned elephants, left behind when their mothers were killed, victims of the ivory wars that have catastrophically reduced elephant populations across Africa.

 The discovery came after two decades of efforts by the renowned conservationist Daphne Sheldrick, who has died aged 83. She devoted most of her life to rescuing young elephants and releasing them back into the wild.

 When she first made attempts to keep the orphaned babies alive, often at one or two years old, with other milk sources, they remained malnourished and faded into death. It was only after trying every combination she could find that she hit on one baby milk formula from Europe, which contained coconut oil, that seemed to work. She and the elephants never looked back, and now more than 230 elephants in Kenya, and many others in Asia and other parts of Africa, are alive, and mostly in the wild, thanks to her hand-rearing.

 Her work grew from her care of orphaned elephants found by her husband, David Sheldrick, chief warden at the Tsavo National Park in Kenya in the 1960s. By the time her sanctuary was well-established, in the late 70s and 80s, each elephant had its own stall, as otherwise they would disturb one another, was bottle-fed every three hours, and was given blankets, raincoats and sunscreen as needed. A keeper slept with each animal under a year old, alternating lest the babies grow too dependent.

 Often, the elephants arrived traumatised, having experienced the lethal violence and cruelty of poaching. It was crucial, in her view, to recognise their grief and help them to overcome it. “They are emotionally human animals,” she told journalists. “You have to think in human terms. How does a child feel when it has lost its whole family and is suddenly in the hands of the enemy?”

 Throughout her life, Sheldrick championed the ability of elephants to communicate and their capacity for feeling. Once, she recounted, a female wrenched the tusks from a newly killed bull elephant and threw them into the jungle, before the eyes of the poachers. On another occasion, an elephant she approached in the wild, mistaking it for one of her former charges, ran at her and hurled her into the air. When she landed, leg broken, the elephant approached again and she feared a fatal blow. But instead it carefully examined her with its trunk, nuzzling and testing to see if she could stand. She wrote afterwards she believed it was because she had been recognised as a friend.

 Sheldrick was one of the earliest advocates of a total global ban on ivory, as against the halfway house solutions proposed by some of allowing sales of ivory captured from poachers to be sold to benefit the countries that had caught them. And she was forthright about where the problem lay: China, with its rampant demand for ivory trinkets as status symbols. “The world has got to drive China to ban all sales of ivory,” she said.

 She was born the third of four children, in Kenya’s Rift Valley, where her parents Marjorie (nee Webb) and Brian Jenkins farmed. Her family, originally from Britain, had come to Kenya after settling in South Africa in the late 19th century. From an early age, Daphne was fascinated by wildlife: aged three, her first pet was a young bush buck. She was educated at Kenya high school but instead of taking up an offered place at university, at 19 she married Bill Woodley, a game warden in Nairobi National Park, with whom she had a daughter, Jill.

 The Mau Mau insurrection followed, during which Bill was engaged on the government side, and later they went to live in Tsavo National Park. There, Daphne had a life-changing encounter with the charismatic Sheldrick, the first chief warden of Tsavo and one of the main figures who shaped it as an international beacon of conservation. He too was married but recently separated. Soon after, recognising that her marriage to Bill was over, in 1960 Daphne married David.

 Tsavo was one of the first extensive wildlife parks in the world, and a model for many to follow. Sheldrick gloried in the opportunities it offered, making her home a haven for orphaned and abandoned wild creatures from dikdiks to rhinos, and increasingly with baby elephants whose mothers had been killed by poachers.

 In 1976, the idyll ended as David was recalled to Nairobi. A year later, he died aged 58 of a heart attack. Bereft, Daphne took solace from the elephants she looked after, later writing: “I thought about the elephants and felt humbled, knowing how stoically they deal with the loss of loved ones on an almost daily basis, how deeply they grieve but how they do so with courage, never forgetting the needs of the living. Their example gave me the strength I needed.”

 She set up the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in her husband’s memory, and operated her elephant orphanage from Nairobi National Park with outposts in Tsavo.

 Sheldrick was made a dame in 2006. She also received one of Kenya’s highest honours, the Moran of the Burning Spear, was named in the UN environment programme’s global 500 roll of honour, recognising outstanding environmental achievers, and was an honorary doctor of Glasgow university. Her autobiography, Love, Life and Elephants: An African Love Story, was published in 2012.

 She is survived by her daughters, Jill, from her first marriage, and Angela, from her second, and by four grandchildren." - Fiona Harvey, The Guardian.

 Thank you, Daphne, for leaving that legacy. May we, like Elisha, request a double portion so that we can do even greater works.

[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) Africa Daphne Sheldrick David Sheldrick elephants game warden Kenya orphans poaching Fri, 16 Aug 2019 14:38:21 GMT
Cool Clear Water

 Public water was not an option when I was growing up. We lived in a very rural area and pumped our water from a natural spring. Many times the water was muddied by a recent rain. During droughts the water level was very low. My dad had drilled wells on our property only to find sulphur water, which you could drink, if you could get past the rotten egg smell. My family could not, so, my brother and I would carry water jugs on the handlebars of our bicycles and retrieve water from my grandparents. Granny and Pa lived down the road from us and had the best well, the water was sweet and clear as crystal. One of my best summertime memories was the opportunity to drink from the garden hose attached to that well. The water was so cold it would sting your lips.

 When I became an adult and started working, I married and moved to a town where public water was available. And, as the years went by, we became accustomed to the quality and quantity made available by our local water utility. But, in 2003, I made my first mission trip outside of the United States. Our mission group flew to Jamaica to replace some roofs displaced by recent hurricanes. I came face to face with the water issues I had seen in my childhood. Though some places had running water, the quality may not be that which we were accustomed. Our team had to rely on bottled drinking water.

 It was during that trip that a Bible verse was made real to me. Luke 12:48 states that "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.." I realized that I could have been born in Jamaica, or anywhere for that matter, and not in America. The privilege of living in such a blessed country, had been taken for granted. Now my eyes were open to the blessing of turning a handle on a faucet and receiving copious amounts of clean drinking water. I had been GIVEN much... now, much was REQUIRED.

 Since then I have felt the need to help those without. For this reason, my Safari Studio Adventures is also a Christian-based philanthropy. Working with those in India, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda, we raise the awareness of needs and we raise the funds to fulfill those needs.

 Statistics show that one in five deaths of children under five is due to a water-borne disease and that every year 3,575,000 people die from water-borne diseases. Clean drinking water is truly life. Many spend hours each day retrieving water just to survive. And, even then, the quality of water still causes disease. Clean drinking water changes that and I have proof. In 2013, a Christian pastor, Kanthi Sudhakar, from the East Godavari District of India, contacted me for support. He ran an orphanage of about thirty children and many were becoming sick from the water they were drinking. God allowed us to raise funds to drill a well on the orphanage property and within one week the children had clean healthy water to drink. Water-borne sicknesses disappeared and children returned to school. The quality and quantity of clean water continues today. The success of this well inspired a second well to be drilled this year in a nearby village. And, now, that village of 200-300 people enjoy clean water as never before.

 Clean water opens the door allowing us to build relationships and help in other ways; medical, educational, physical and spiritual. Since 2013, Safari Studio Adventures, through the grace of God, has provided funds for heart surgery, medicines, food, wheelchairs, Bibles, sewing machines, school supplies, goats, phones, water tanks, bicycles, coffins, hospital stays, mosquito nets, beds and mattresses, etc.

 And, that is just the beginning, efforts to raise funds for a well for the Divine Mercy School in Bujingwa, Tanzania are underway. Want to help? Contact me at: [email protected]. Unlike many larger agencies, 100% of money donated goes to the need. Join us today.

[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) Christian clean drinking water disease given India Kenya much required Safari Studio Adventures support Tanzania Uganda Thu, 15 Aug 2019 16:39:49 GMT

 Years before the capture and sale of Jumbo the elephant was the story of another native of Sudan, a female giraffe, nicknamed "Belle Africaine", or, as she is known today, Zarafa, a name received in 1985. Captured by Arab hunters and taken first by camel, she then sailed by felucca, a traditional wooden boat, on the Blue Nile to Khartoum. From there she was transported down the Nile to Alexandria on a specially constructed barge. She was accompanied by three cows that provided her 25 liters of milk each day. A synopsis of Michael Allin's book, Zarafa: A Giraffe's True Story, from Deep in Africa to the Heart of Paris, picks up from there.

"In October 1826, a ship arrived at Marseille carrying the first giraffe ever seen in France. A royal offering from Muhammad Ali, Ottoman Viceroy of Egypt, to King Charles X, she had already traveled 2,000 miles down the Nile to Alexandria, from where she had sailed across the Mediterranean standing in the hold, her long neck and head protruding through a hole cut in the deck. In the spring of 1827, after wintering in Marseille, she was carefully walked 550 miles to Paris to the delight of thousands of onlookers.

 The viceroy's tribute was politically motivated: He commanded the Turkish forces then fighting the Greeks in their war of independence, and hoped his gift would persuade the French not to intervene against him. But the viceroy and his intentions were quickly forgotten as France fell in love with its "beautiful stranger."

 Zarafa chronicles the full story of this remarkable animal, revealing a kaleidoscope of history, science, and culture that opens an exotic window on the early nineteenth century. From the Enlightenment's blossoming fascination with science to Napoleon's ill-fated invasion of Egypt in 1798–from the eminent French naturalist Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire to Bernardino Drovetti, French consul general in Egypt and tomb robber extraordinaire–the era was full of memorable events and characters. Michael Allin deftly weaves them into the story with an appreciation for detail and an uncommon affection.

 The giraffe's strange and wonderful journey linked Africa and Europe in mutual discovery. Although her arrival did not keep the French out of Ali's war, she became an instant celebrity in Paris and over the next eighteen years she fascinated all of Europe. Through Michael Allin's narrative skill, Zarafa stirs the imagination as it provides a new context for the history of a distant age." - Amazon Book Review

 Zarafa remained at Le Jardin des Plantes until her death on January 12, 1845. Officials then ordered her stuffed and she then graced the foyer of the Jardin for many years. Today she stands at the Museum of Natural History of La Rochelle.


[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) Belle Africaine giraffe Jardin des Plantes Michael Allin Paris Sudan Zarafa Wed, 14 Aug 2019 15:20:34 GMT
Jumbo The Elephant

  It seems that we have lost our sense of wonder and amazement these days. One of my goals in writing this daily blog is to share stories, sometimes historical, and, almost always, dealing with some aspect of the African experience. And, if that blog contains elephants (one of my favorite animals)...well, that is just a bonus. One such account is the life of Jumbo the elephant.

 His story begins like this, "Jumbo was born around Christmas 1860 in Sudan, and after his mother was killed by hunters, the infant Jumbo was captured by Sudanese elephant hunter Taher Sheriff and German big-game hunter Johann Schmidt. The calf was sold to Lorenzo Casanova, an Italian animal dealer and explorer. Casanova transported the animals that he had bought from Sudan north to Suez, and then across the Mediterranean Sea to Trieste.

 This collection was sold to Gottlieb Christian Kreutzberg's "Menagerie Kreutzberg"in Germany. Soon after, the elephant was imported to France and kept in the Paris zoo Jardin des Plantes. In 1865, he was transferred to the London Zoo and arrived on 26 June. In the following years, Jumbo became a crowd favorite due to his size, and would give rides to children on his back, including those of Queen Victoria. London zookeeper association leader Anoshan Anathajeyasri gave Jumbo his name; it is likely a variation of one of two Swahili words: jambo, which means "hello"; or jumbe, meaning "chief". If Anathajeyasri was from India, he possibly named Jumbo after a gigantic rose-apple tree called jambu (which at that time would be transliterated as 'jumboo'), which grows on the mythical Mount Meru and whose fruits were said to be as large as elephants." - Wikipedia.

 During his stay in London, Jumbo broke both of his tusks and when they regrew, he ground them down against the stonework of his enclosure. Jumbo's unease became aggression and London owner, Abraham Bartlett, in 1882 decided to sell Jumbo to avoid the potential of a public disaster. Enter Phineas T. Barnum, American entertainer and partner of Barnum & Bailey Circus. Against British opposition, Barnum purchased Jumbo at the price of $10,000. Jumbo's keeper, Matthew Scott, elected to stay on as keeper and travel to the United States with Barnum.

 Barnum placed Jumbo on exhibition in New York at Madison Square Garden and within three weeks, he recouped the sum he paid for the animal. Largely due to his new main attraction, the circus raked in $1.75 million in their 31 week season. However, the September 15, 1885 performance in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada would put a stop, or, at least a pause, to that. Circus animals had completed their performances for the evening and were being led to their boxcars as the railroad was how circuses traveled in those days. As Jumbo crossed the track, he was hit and mortally wounded by a train locomotive travelling on that track. Jumbo died within minutes. A younger elephant, named Tom Thumb, was also hit, and received a broken leg.

 Barnum's business sense and showmanship had the elephant separated to attract curious spectators from multiple locales. Jumbo's skeleton would tour with Barnum's circus before it was donated to the American Museum of Natural History, where it remains. His heart was sold to Cornell University. His stomach was examined to find metal objects such as English pennies, keys, rivets and a police whistle. His skin, which was said to weigh 1500 lbs., was stretched over a wooden skeleton. The mounted specimen toured with Barnum for two years before being donated to Tufts University, where it was destroyed in a fire in April of 1975.

 Jumbo's named spawned the common word, "jumbo", meaning large in size. Because of this we now have jumbo shrimp, jumbo marshmallows and jumbotrons. His shoulder height at death was estimated at 10.6 feet, compared to the 13.1 feet claimed by P.T. Barnum. But, Jumbo, at death, was still growing, his final height could truly have been "Jumbo".

 I was never a fan of the treatment that circus animals received (or receive). But, I do agree that we need to stand in awe of the incredible creature that is called the elephant. The intelligence and emotions these animals exhibit is far beyond our understanding.


[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) Africa creature elephant Jumbo Matthew Scott Phineas T. Barnum zoo Tue, 13 Aug 2019 15:34:39 GMT
Raising Daisy Rothschild

 One of the most sacred tasks we have as humans is to care for the world we live in and the inhabitants that surround us. I don't consider myself a "tree-hugger", but, I do believe we have a great responsibility to leave things better than we found them.

 Betty Leslie-Melville, an American author and conservationist, first visited Kenya in 1958 and was both captivated and appalled. Upon her arrival, she learned that numbers of Rothschild giraffe had dwindled drastically when poachers slaughtered the animals for tourist mementos. She persuaded her then second husband, banker Danny Bruce, to move there and he started a non-hunting safari business, but, they soon divorced. In 1964 she married Jock Leslie-Melville, a Kenyan grandson of a Scottish earl. Later, they purchased an English-style mansion on 120 acres near Nairobi, which had been built for the tycoon, Sir David Duncan, in 1932. Along with her husband, Jock, she raised Daisy, a young Rothschild giraffe, shown above, on their estate, which would soon be affectionately known as "Giraffe Manor".

 Giraffes are the tallest creatures on the planet, some reaching a height of nineteen feet. They are ungulates, or even-toed hoofed mammals, which include animals such as cattle, goats, pigs, camels, deer and hippopotamus. They are also ruminants, cud-chewing, animals just like the cow. Four species of the giraffe exist and all are native to Africa, including; Northern, Reticulated, Southern and Masai. The Northern variety contains four sub-species; Kordofan, Nubian, West African and Rothschild. The Southern variety contains two sub-species; Angolan and South African. The Masai variety includes one ecotype, the Rhodesian. Ecotypes are variants where the differences are too few or too subtle to warrant sub-species status.

 Often called the "Giraffe Lady" , Betty was instrumental in protecting and increasing numbers of the Rothschild species. In addition, she and Jock helped save 18,000 acres of habitat. While working in Kenya and the breeding program established at Giraffe Manor, the giraffe population grew from about one hundred twenty to over four hundred. In 1972 the couple created the Fund for Endangered African Wildlife. Betty authored Raising Daisy Rothschild in 1977, which inspired the movie, The Last Giraffe, in 1979. Betty continued to write with proceeds funding the Giraffe Centre formed at Langata, Kenya in 1983.

As numbers of giraffe grew, so did the number of "pets" on the grounds of the manor. The couple would invite the new residents to meals by opening windows, through which the giraffes would poke their huge heads, often for a hand-fed treat. Visitors to Giraffe Manor were intrigued by the couple's familiarity of the wild giraffe. Jock succumbed to brain cancer and passed in 1984. Betty later opened the manor as a lodge with accommodation fees contributing to conservation works. Visitors would get a close-up view of giraffes and the couples' work would continue. Betty passed in 2005 at the age of 78 due to complications of dementia. Giraffe Manor's torch was passed on to Betty's son, but, is now owned by The Safari Collection. Rooms can be booked per night or as part of a tailor made safari.

 Truly, Betty left the world better than she found it.

 Copyright of above photo belongs to the copyright owner. I do not claim ownership of photo.

[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) Africa Betty Leslie-Melville conservation giraffe Giraffe Manor poaching Raising Daisy Rothschild Rothschild Mon, 12 Aug 2019 17:30:34 GMT
Serengeti Darf Nicht Sterben

 Professor Bernhard Grzimek was born April 24, 1909 in Prussian Silesia. He studied veterinary medicine for which he received a doctorate in 1933. During World War II, he worked as a veterinarian in Berlin. But, in early 1945, his apartment was raided by the Gestapo, because he had repeatedly supplied food to hidden Jews. He fled to Frankfurt which was occupied by U.S. forces, and, later became a renowned German zoo director, zoologist and author.

 On May 1, 1945, Grzimek became director of the Frankfurt Zoological Garden. The zoo was in ruins and had only 20 surviving animals. Once the bomb craters were filled and buildings temporarily repaired, the zoo reopened July 1, 1945. He led the zoo until his retirement in 1974, making the Frankfurt Zoo one of the largest zoological gardens in Germany.

 Most notably, he was known for filming the German documentary, Serengeti Darf Nicht Sterben, or Serengeti Shall Not Die, for us English speakers. The film, released in German in 1959, covered years of study of the Serengeti migration with his son, Michael. Grzimek believed in the beauty of creation saying, "Large cities continue to proliferate. In the coming decades and centuries, men will not travel to view marvels of engineering, but they will leave the dusty towns in order to behold the last places on earth where God’s creatures are peacefully living. Countries which have preserved such places will be envied by other nations and visited by streams of tourists. There is a difference between wild animals living a natural life and famous buildings. Palaces can be rebuilt if they are destroyed in wartime, but once the wild animals of the Serengeti are exterminated no power on earth can bring them back". Though the film would consume the personal savings of both Bernhard and Michael, it earned them the Oscar in 1960 in the Documentary category. The film was then re-released in 20 other languages. It was enormously accepted by the public and played a major role in the creation of the Serengeti National Park, which now covers 5700 square miles..

 Much of the observation was achieved from the air in his zebra-striped Dornier, a single engine plane. At the age of 48, Bernhard, and Michael, age 23, had learned to fly, bought the plane, painted the famous zebra stripes (shown above) and headed to Africa. By flying over the great herds of the Serengeti, the Grzimeks would record their species, numbers, locations and migrations. The Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania, having 2000 foot high walls, was the perfect Petri dish, having vast herds of different species residing in one isolated caldera. Bernhard was so taken by the crater in that he said, "It is impossible to give a fair description of the size and beauty of the Crater, for there is nothing with which one can compare it. It is one of the Wonders of the World". But, the beauty of the crater would be tarnished in 1959, when his son, Michael, while flying the Dornier alone, would hit a Griffon Vulture and crash near the rim of the caldera. Michael was killed. He was buried on the outer rim of the crater. A memorial now stands with the inscription, "HE GAVE ALL HE POSSESSED INCLUDING HIS LIFE FOR THE WILD ANIMALS OF AFRICA". 

Without Michael, Bernhard would continue his conservation work, writing books and producing television programs until his death on March 13, 1987. He had taken a group of children to a circus where he fell asleep during a performance. He was 77 years old. His ashes were later transferred to Tanzania to be buried by his son on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater. His inscription reads, "A LIFETIME OF CARING FOR WILD ANIMALS AND THEIR PLACE ON OUR PLANET IT IS BETTER TO LIGHT A CANDLE THAN TO CURSE THE DARKNESS".

 Due to the Grzimek's dedication, passion and sacrifice, the Serengeti Shall Not Die.


[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) Africa Bernhard Grzimek conservation creation Dornier Michael Grzimek Ngorongoro Crater Serengeti Tanzania wild animals zoo Sun, 11 Aug 2019 21:54:55 GMT
Zawadi Ya Mungu  Zawadi ya Mungu, the Gift of God. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” - Ephesians 2:8

 I don't know of anyone who does not like to receive a gift. And, what better gift is there than eternal life? The fall of man (Adam and Eve's sin) caused us all to be born into sin. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”- Romans 3:23. We became captive to the wants and desires of our flesh. Some refer to them as the seven deadly sins; pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth. The Catholic church considers these contrary to seven heavenly virtues; prudence, temperance, justice, courage, faith, charity, and hope.

 Only through the Gift of Grace, the sacrifice of God's Only Son, Jesus Christ, are we able to be reconciled to God. We know that Jesus died on the cross for ALL; no matter the color of your skin, the size of your bank account, the house you live in, the car you drive, or the clothes you wear. However, that Gift is not truly ours until we receive it and own it. We do that, as the above verse says, through faith, that belief that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died and rose again to conquer death for us all. We humble ourselves, repent and turn from our wicked ways and live a new life in Him.

You see, the wages, or penalty, of sin has always been death. In the old testament times, a burnt offering required the killing of one's animal, usually a lamb, to atone for sin. Jesus became the ultimate sacrificial lamb to end the shedding of blood. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."- John 3:16-17.

It is through His grace and mercy that we can be free from our sinful nature. We cannot boast or brag of this gift, because we did nothing to deserve it.

It is truly Zawadi ya Mungu.

 Image created with photos courtesy and copyright of Annie Spratt and Ron Dauphin of

[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) eternal life faith gift God grace Jesus Mungu reconciled salvation sin fall of man zawadi Sat, 10 Aug 2019 16:56:49 GMT
The Real Lion King   Lions are such regal creatures. They are powerful, aggressive animals that demand attention. No wonder they are considered "The King of the Beasts". Companies use golden lion images in their logos, branding and advertising as a statement of being the best of the best. (Probably best known is the MGM lion). And, rightfully so for the lion is a top predator, a real killing machine able to take down some of the largest prey in Africa. Even though lions are at the top of the food chain they are becoming more and more endangered as their numbers decrease, due to poaching and trophy hunting. 

 Recently, Disney did a remake of The Lion King, I loved the original movie, however, I have not been able to see the newer version. (Of course, you know me, I love all things African). The theme of the movie bears a lot of similarity to the theme of the Bible. And, Disney pretty much got it right when Mufasa states that anything the light touches is part of his kingdom because God, our Father, owns it all. Disney got it right again to show that there is an evil out there trying to stamp out the goodness from the land. Just like Scar, there is one that plots to overthrow the kingdom by destroying the son of the father. And, later, that evil one finds that his efforts to eradicate the son have failed and the son returns to set things right in the kingdom.

 You see, two thousand years or so ago, there was a Son, a Root of David, that was born to the Father. But, that Son was singled out, beaten and killed on an old rugged cross. The Evil One had won...or so it had seemed. After three days in the grave, the Son returned, being raised by the Father. The story differs from Disney at that point for the Son returns home to the Father, leaving the kingdom...but, just for a little while.

 It is written that the Son will soon return to set up His kingdom. And, those found written in the Book of Life will reign with Him for a thousand years.

 John writes in the book of Revelation:

 "And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.

 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.

 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof." Revelation 5:1-5

 The elder is pretty much saying, "Hakuna Matata, no worries". The Lion of the tribe of Judah is worthy by overcoming death. Hallelujah, Jesus Christ, the Real Lion King, has the power to open the seals and set up the eternal kingdom... 

 Want to know the rest of the story? Don't wait for the sequel, the Book (Holy Bible) is way better. 

 *Spoiler Alert* The Real Lion King wins in the end!!

 Photo courtesy and copyright of Tobias Adam of


[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) Bible Disney Father God Jesus lion Lion King Revelation Son Fri, 09 Aug 2019 14:58:33 GMT
Leave A Cow Pie

 The recent electrical storm left me with no internet service. While waiting a couple of days for a repairman, I had the opportunity to slow down and read some of my old Facebook posts. The following post seems relevant now after spending some time without the web, so I thought I would share it again.

 "Chewing is important. Remember mom telling you to chew each bite 32 times? The chewing process promotes enzymes that help break down your food and aids the stomach in digestion. By spending more time in the mouth, food can more easily be digested throughout the digestive track. Stomach issues can be avoided by slowing down and letting the body do its job. Fast food and fast lifestyles were not ordained by God, the Creator.

Behold the cow. The cow slowly ruminates her food over and over until it can be digested easily and efficiently. A well-processed cow-pie easily breaks down and gives nourishment to the grass of the field.

Same goes for our everyday life. We can avoid many stress disorders by slowing down and "ruminating" our thoughts and emotions. This process allows solutions to problems whereas hastiness causes mistakes and waste. This reduces the need to repeat processes over and over to get a desired result, thus, reducing waste. So, be a healthy cow today, slow down, enjoy the sunshine, ruminate the possibilities and leave some well-processed fertilizer for those around you."

Leave a cow pie for someone today. They will step in it and share with others. By the way, if you like my posts (and my cartoon cow above), show me some love by dropping me a comment below. Your comments and suggestions only make my site better. Don't forget to visit the various galleries of my website containing a digital mix of photography and art.

 Artwork is the property and copyright of Safari Studio Adventures.

[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) chewing cow pie relax ruminate stress Thu, 08 Aug 2019 20:26:03 GMT
The Great Migration    

 Each year at this time, an incredible event takes place on the African savannas of Tanzania and Kenya, a vast movement of up to two million creatures. Wildebeests, gazelles, zebras and other animals begin a journey, called "The Great Migration". This journey is focused on one thing, the search for new grass. Making a circle from the Serengeti, through the Maasai Mara and back again, they follow the rains of Africa. (The last phrase causes me to want to break out in a rendition of the famous 80's song by Toto, but, I refrain.) The migration differs each year as it is entirely dependent upon the timing of the rain.

 One of my goals in writing these blogs is to acquaint the reader with the wonders and beauty of Africa. But, I also bear the responsibility to compare the natural world with the spiritual and share my findings ("For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more."- Luke 12:48b). There is a natural order that is applied to all things created by our Creator. For instance, all creatures are born, live out their lives and die at a given time. And, crocodiles eat wildebeest, but, wildebeest do not eat crocodiles. You see, a natural law of sorts. Wikipedia defines, "Natural law (Latin: ius naturalelex naturalis) is law that is held to exist independently of the positive law of a given political order, society or nation-state. As determined by nature, the law of nature is implied to be objective and universal; it exists independently of human understanding, and of the positive law of a given state, political order, legislature or society at large. Historically, natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze human nature to deduce binding rules of moral behavior from nature's or God's creation of reality and mankind". As Wikipedia mentions, this law "exists independently of human understanding", meaning whether we understand it or not or whether we accept it or not, it still exists. Also, as stated, the law is "objective and universal", it is just and applies to all, no one is exempt. This is true of the spiritual world as well. God has set the standard and whether we choose to understand or ignore, it still exists and holds us accountable.

 Back to the migration, each creature is urged on by the God-given instinct to press on toward the reward of fresh grass. It is as though they can smell it on the horizon. There are dangers along the journey, crocodiles notoriously await the animals along the edge and crossing of swollen rivers. Lions wait to cull the young, weak, and broken. Hunger, heat and thirst are ever present. But, the animals press on and never look back. God tells us many times in His Word to behold, consider or observe the things of nature to learn a spiritual lesson and I believe we can learn here from the great migration. Although we are bound by the natural law, we can live our lives to the fullest, allowing God's Spirit to guide us to our reward. We can enjoy the blessings along the way, but, we must be aware of the dangers, also. We, too, have spiritual lions seeking to devour us. And, remember, you don't always have to blend with the crowd, stand out from the herd, be a zebra.

"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you." - Philippians 3:13-15.

 Photo courtesy and copyright of Shripal Daphtary of

[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) Africa God great migration journey law nature reward wildebeest zebra Tue, 06 Aug 2019 20:05:12 GMT
Distance and Direction

 Proverbs 3: 5-6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

 I like my direction to be sure and despise those times when I must back up, turn around or retrace my steps. This blog is one of those times I have had to stop and turn around. In my haste to complete a blog to fulfill my goal of publishing a blog each day of August, I had to stop, delete everything and start anew. 

 This is actually a good thing, a lesson to be shared. You see, we humans are not perfect, and, in our race through this life we can easily stumble. It is better to get clear direction before beginning any new task.

 In my thirteen years working as a three dimensional designer I created designs and prototypes that sold for a few thousand of dollars and I created some that sold for a few million of dollars. We used a design pyramid as an illustration of planning. The pyramid has a large base, but, a very tiny point where the whole structure comes together. If you put much thought into a project (large base), that project becomes easier and easier as it reaches completion (the point). However, the opposite is also true. If you flip the pyramid over and put very little planning into the project (the point) the greater problem and more effort it will take to reach completion (large base). Not only does the work become greater, but, cost and problems are increased. It pays to have a clear direction.

 But, where does distance come in? The better my direction, the farther my distance. And, I cover a greater distance in a smaller amount of time which can also cut costs. A clearer direction removes the pitfalls and hiccups that may delay or stall my progress all together. To illustrate, say I am driving down the road at a high rate of speed, I need to get to my destination quickly. But, I did not take the time to map out my journey and along the way a bridge has been washed out. In my rush, I careen into the unknown abyss. Now, I have a delay, a setback or maybe even an end to my journey. But the damage and costs doesn't stop there. Now, I must retrieve my vehicle, repair, if needed, tend to any medical care I may need, regroup and complete or terminate the journey. The lack of planning or direction has cut my distance short and caused me pain and loss in the process.

 Believing in God, my daily journey is no different. Each day I must make the decision to follow the instructions in the verse above. By trusting in the Lord, I show my humility and reliance on who He is, what He knows and what He is capable of doing. I find my understanding very lacking when compared to Him. I must acknowledge this fact in every area of my life; marriage, family, career, friendships, etc., and, not just on Sunday mornings.

By following these instructions, my direction is more sure, my path is straighter and my distance is farther.

Haste truly make waste.

 Photo courtesy and copyright of Viktor Forgacs of

[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) direction distance God journey Proverbs trust understanding Mon, 05 Aug 2019 15:49:00 GMT
Maasai Creed

 In 1960 Christian missionaries met with leaders of the African Maasai tribe in an effort to develop a standard that could be shared to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The result was called the Maasai Creed. (And, you thought I could not combine the subjects of Jesus and a safari.) 

                                                       Maasai Creed

We believe in the one High God, who out of love created the beautiful world and everything good in it. He created man and wanted man to be happy in the world. God loves the world and every nation and tribe on the earth. We have known this High God in the darkness, and now we know him in the light. God promised in the book of his word, the Bible, that he would save the world and all nations and tribes.

We believe that God made good his promise by sending his son, Jesus Christ, a man in the flesh, a Jew by tribe, born poor in a little village, who left his home and was always on safari doing good, curing people by the power of God, teaching about God and man, showing that the meaning of religion is love. He was rejected by his people, tortured and nailed hands and feet to a cross, and died. He was buried in the grave, but the hyenas did not touch him, and on the third day, he rose from that grave. He ascended to the skies. He is the Lord.

We believe that all our sins are forgiven through him. All who have faith in him must be sorry for their sins, be baptized in the Holy Spirit of God, live the rules of love, and share the bread together in love, to announce the good news to others until Jesus comes again. We are waiting for him. He is alive. He lives. This we believe.

The Gospel in a nutshell, so simple a child can understand.

 Photo copyright belongs to those that own it. Its use is purely educational and I, in no way, claim ownership of this photo.


[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) Africa Bible Christ Christianity creed God Gospel Jesus Maasai missionary Mon, 05 Aug 2019 02:45:33 GMT
Behold Now Behemoth   I am often disappointed with many learned people, you know, those people who have had the ability to attend a college or university. These people have had the opportunity to study from many more resources than that available to the common man. They study the anatomy of living things; the bones, muscles, and tissue. They mull over the intricate systems such as the circulatory, the nervous, reproductive and respiratory. Yet, they cannot grasp the concept of Creation or the existence of an all-knowing Creator.

 The Holy Bible clearly states in Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." My early elementary teachers would say to clarify what we read, ask the questions; Who? What? When?. We would also have to identify the subject and verb (or action word) in the sentence. Okay, here goes. Who? God. What? Heaven and earth. When? In the beginning. Huh? That was pretty simple. And, as for the subject and verb...God created. Whew!! How hard was that? (I don't even have a master's degree in language arts.)

 If you observe the skeletons of an elephant, a human and a whale, you will find that each has a noticeable spine or backbone. Each has a skull, ribs and limbs. Add the muscles to each and you find that the tissue looks very similar in the way they flex and the way they are attached to the skeletal frame. Add organs such as brains, hearts, and kidneys, you then discover that there had to be a master plan. This cannot happen by accident. Not only a master plan, but, each assembly must be the work of a very intelligent designer. But, we are not finished. These beings must be self-sustaining. They need the intricate systems mentioned earlier. They need the ability to feed, to grow, to live and reproduce. They must be able to think, to feel, to plan or reason. This cannot be achieved by happenstance.

 The Bible reminds us all of God's handiwork throughout the scriptures. The Lord states, “I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.” - Isaiah 45:12 and Colossians 1:16 says, "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:” This not only includes design, development and prototyping, but, also, ownership.

 John continues with, "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” - John 1:3.

 I really like this verse, “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” - Ecclesiastes 3:11. This means that each and every creature is beautiful and uniquely created. It also means that, try as you may, you will never be able to figure out how He did it. It is a mystery!!

 In the Old Testament, Job felt vindicated to question God's actions until God said, "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding."- Job 38:4. He continues on through the chapter setting Job straight.

And in Chapter 40 God tells Job to: 

 "Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox.

 Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly.

 He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together.

 His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron.

 He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him.

 Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play.

 He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens.

 The shady trees cover him with their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about.

 Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth.

 He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares." -Job 40:15-24.

 This is one of my most favorite passages in the Bible. God requests Job's acknowledgement and acceptance of His creating behemoth. Some may disagree with my thought, but, the description given describes an elephant perfectly. Job is to "behold" or observe this animal so the animal must have been alive during Job's time, which eliminates dinosaurs as some scholars had assumed. Elephants were living in the time of Job. Elephants eat grass like the ox. Elephants are very strong, their tails look and hang like a scrub cedar tree. The elephant has tusks that resembles swords and are located at the front or "approach" of the animal. Elephants reside where the other beasts play and lie under shady trees. The elephant can draw up to two gallons of water from any water source with his trunk. His trunk is also used to "pierce through snares". Makes sense, right.

 But, Job did not live at the time of creation, he had to accept what God had told him by faith. We are no different, we must believe by faith. “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”- Hebrews 11:3. And, this is why the educated people I spoke of earlier cannot accept creation. 2 Peter 3:5 says,“For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:”  They willingly will not have faith, but, demand that theories prove their assumptions. Acquiring faith would only come through humility and acceptance of their own ignorance.

 As for me, I choose to have faith and believe in the wondrous creation of an all-knowing God, the Omnipotent Designer and Creator of all. “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:”- Romans 1:20.

 "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well." -Psalm 139:14.


  Elephant image courtesy and copyright of Felix M. Dorn of


[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) behemoth Bible creation Creator designer faith God Sat, 03 Aug 2019 05:51:56 GMT
Born Free Revisited

  One of my earliest memories was getting to see the movie Born Free, a movie depicting the lives of George and Joy Adamson. My parents took me to a viewing at the Sumner County Drive-In, an outdoor movie excursion in itself. The movie was based on the international best seller of the same name by Joy Adamson. And, the cinematic images of the vast plains of Africa and lions riding atop land rovers forever changed my life. Birthdays later, I received a toy set with zebra-striped land rover and male and female lion figures. (I still have the lions to this day).

 George and Joy became the first most well-known African conservationists after raising an orphaned lioness named Elsa. Elsa was orphaned on the first of February 1956 after George, an African game warden, killed her mother when she charged him. George afterwards realizing that the mother had charged to protect her small cubs, took the young ones home to his wife, Joy. The couple soon found that they could not fill the needs of young lions and the two larger cubs were taken to a zoo in Rotterdam. The smallest would be named "Elsa" and would stay with the Adamsons. But, time came when Elsa would have to join her sisters in a zoo setting. Joy was adamant that her beloved Elsa would not live her days in a cage. Instead, Elsa would be trained and taught to be wild again. She became the first lion to be successfully released back into the wild. Elsa lived free until 1961 when she died of babesiosis, a disease from a tick bite.

 Joy Adamson would go on to write sequels to the Born Free story with Living Free and Forever Free. Throughout her life she continued to support wildlife with the proceeds of her books, appearances and artwork. But, on the 3rd of January 1980, Joy was found dead by her assistant, Pieter Mawson, who mistakenly claimed that she had been killed by a lion. Police investigations later proved a discharged former employee had been the murderer. Joy was buried next to her Elsa in the Meru National Park. Her husband, George, would also be murdered nine years later in 1989 as he rushed to aid a tourist attacked by poachers near his camp Kora. He is credited for saving the tourist's life.

 I believe it is essential that stories such as the Adamson's be shared today. Theirs is a story that has been lost to history. The Adamsons were not perfect people, they had their flaws. However, they had a love and a passion to see and appreciate wildlife as it was created. May we all grasp this passion so that we may better care for the incredible creations of God.

 If you enjoyed this blog, please leave a comment below. Your comments and suggestions make it possible for me to continue to improve this site.

[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) Africa Born Free creation Elsa George Adamson Joy Adamson lions poachers wildlife Fri, 02 Aug 2019 17:48:34 GMT
Safari Evening  Years ago I found this story by Greg Sharam on kopjes. For the novice explorer a "kopje", pronounced like "copy", is a granite outcropping that appears in a sea of savanna grass, most notably as those that appear on the Serengeti in Africa. I have read and collected many books on the African safari experience and few are able to paint a vivid masterpiece in as little words as this. Our senses are awakened to the sights, sounds, smells, and even touch of the world that surrounds a kopje.  So pull your blanket close and press your back to the warmth of the rock as you read. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


All day we have been crossing the great, grassy plain of the Serengeti. Sometimes flat, sometimes rolling, 
it stretches out on all sides to the horizon. 
We are a small boat in and endless green sea, voyaging in the swirling grass and multitudes of moving animals. 
Lodged on the grassy swells were islands of grey rock. Islands with trees and resting birds, 
they gave us something to gage out movement by, something solid and unmoving.

 Tonight, we have come in from the sea and are camping at one of these islands, or Kopjes, 
meaning "little heads" in Afrikaans. The kopjes are granite outcrops, eroded into strange shapes by the wind and sun, 
and ranging in size from a few feet to a hundred meters. 
 On our kopje and around it are a collection of bushes and strange plants. On top is a huge, old spreading fig tree for shade.
As the sun goes down, we stand on the kopje and watch the orange sun sink over the shaggy heads of thousands of animals. 
Stretching out on the sun-heated rocks, the stars come out, filling the sky to a chorus of wildebeest music. 
 It is later, and we've lit a small fire. The cool wind blows down from the Ngorongoro highlands to the east. 
I pull my blanket closer around me, press my back to the warmth of the rock, and listen to the night around us. 
 As the air cools, the sounds of the night begin. Lions are roaring on the next rise of the grassy sea. 
Far off, there is the frightened barking of a zebra. Closer in, a hyena makes its unsettling whooping cry, 
making contact with the other members of its clan. Our guide stirs the fire, setting off a cloud of sparks that brightens our faces. 
I realize suddenly how comforting it is to be on the kopje, my back to a rock and the tumbled boulders reaching out around us into the endless grass. 

 We are not the first people to feel safe in this place. Our guide remembers his father told stories of building his thorn-tree enclosures, 
or bomas, next to kopjes to use the rocks as a defense against the raids of other tribes. The people of this part of Africa are traditionally pastoralists,
 keeping cows and goats and moving with the seasons. Pastoralists don't build permanent buildings, but used kopjes as forts and look-outs, meeting places, homes, and religious sites.
 Our guide piles up the fire and points through the flames to a crack in the granite kopje. In one place it looks like the rock has been polished smooth by a machine.That comes from years and decades of young warriors sharpening their spears in defense of the tribe or in preparation for the hunt. 
 Beside us, beneath some leaves are three rows of shallow holes cut into the rock. The end of the first row is weathered away by centuries of African sun and rain. The holes are a mbau game, and ancient game of counting out colored stones and a game still played across east Africa.
 From beside the fire, I pick up a small black stone.These chips of stone are obsidian, or volcanic glass used to make arrow heads and spear points, 
and brought by an ancient trade route from Kenya, hundreds of km to the north. This place is not hundreds of years old, it is a stone-age place, 
predating metal-working in Africa, predating the culture that I come from, stretching back into the ancient, misty past.
 To think that hundreds and thousands of years ago, ancient hunters whiled away the nights on this very spot, waiting for the great herds of wildebeest to come south.

 The fire is dying down now to embers, crackling and throwing a ring of light only a few feet. Outside the circle, the night reigns. 
Around us, the Serengeti is swishing, grunting, running, and roaring with life.The sharp call of a rock hyrax on the kopje behind us startles and punctuates the constant low noise of the night. Overhead the clear equatorial stars roll slowly past, so bright that I see the black shapes of darting bats. I creep closer to the fire, and pull off my watch and shoes. With some prodding, our guide sings us a song in his mother-tongue, the soft Bantu syllables float out on a deep sonorous voice into the night outside.
 At that moment on that age-old kopje, we are thousands of years in the past. Five figures wrapped in printed local blankets, huddled around the glowing members of a dying fire, listening to an old man singing and telling stories.

By Greg Sharam

Please note: Copyrights to image and story belong to those that own them. In no way do I claim the rights or ownership of said items.

[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) adventure Africa beauty creation experience Greg Sharam kopje safari senses Serengeti Thu, 01 Aug 2019 20:44:39 GMT
The Expansion of Safari Studios: Adventures In 2016

For many years I have been asking you, "What is Your Adventure?" Well, here is mine for 2016...and beyond. 

In July of 2015, this property became available for purchase. Almost 116 acres of historic natural beauty and a stone English Tudor style house built in 1934.

My adventure (vision) for 2016 is to create a sustainable recreational and cultural event center that will include an art gallery, gift shop, café, manicured lawns and botanical gardens with an African safari theme. The plan is to convert the existing electrical systems to solar power, including solar powered fountains and exterior lighting. The property may even include its own solar farm, producing electricity for its own consumption and beyond. Rainfall will be captured and conserved for irrigation of newly designed botanical gardens. Parking areas will be permeable to reduce storm run-off. Compost and mulch will be created from the spent foliage and fallen leaves and re-introduced to the botanical gardens. Fallen tree branches will be chipped up and used for walking paths around the estate. Park benches will be installed throughout the property so that all ages can relax and enjoy the natural surroundings. Local schools and colleges can learn from our endeavors and local companies will be employed to do the work, pouring knowledge and money back into Sumner County.

My purpose is to preserve and beautify this property, in addition to providing the public with a recreational setting to be used for education, entertainment and involvement. The setting will also provide space for visiting artists and guest speakers, as well as provide an affordable wedding, reunion or meeting venue. The front lawn will be filled with visitors attending local performances. Holidays may involve giant Maize (Corn) Mazes and holiday light displays. Area schools may plan field trips to teach children subjects from art and photography to sustainability and conservation, from African and Indian culture to Christian missions, from African explorers to African wildlife, in a fun, casual manner. In addition, a portion of proceeds will be used to make life better for orphanages in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and India (current Safari Studio fans know my connection, work and history with these organizations). Providing clean drinking water to those with none has always been one of my goals. The newly renovated center will educate, entertain and excite visitors from all around for years to come. And, with almost 116 acres, there is plenty of room for expansion.

This dream cannot be achieved alone, I need your support to make it a reality. Contact me and become a part of this new Adventure. I ask that donors (corporate, family or individual) join me in preserving this property so that future generations can enjoy this natural piece of Sumner County and do good for those in need at the same time. The initial goal is $3,000,000 to cover cost of property purchase and start of renovation. Any donation over this amount will allow us to do more in a smaller time frame.

No donation is too large or too small.

For more details, contact me at [email protected].


Barnia (Barney) Scruggs

Safari Studios

Adventures In Photography



[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) 2016 Barnia Scruggs Sumner County adventure artist beauty cultural center donation dream photography safari studios studio support vision Fri, 01 Jan 2016 18:01:45 GMT
Paradise Lost? What ever happened to beauty and the supermodel? It seems that beauty today has faded from existence.

In the beginning, the Lord God caused a deep sleep to come upon Adam. A rib was removed from Adam's side and God created a woman for the man. I have always loved this story because God found it needful for Adam to have a woman beside him, not only a creature to help him, but, someone Adam could love, cherish, desire and share his experiences. She was the perfect fit for man's need. It was truly a beautiful pairing.

It doesn't seem to be so today. Have we lost that sense of beauty? Man and woman have become separate individuals, each seeking their own fulfillment and destiny. Do we even take the time to recognize beauty? They say "beauty is in the eye of the beholder", but, does anyone ever "behold" anymore. "Behold" as the masters of old, like Da Vinci, Michelangelo or Bernini, as they worked endlessly on the great masterpieces of art we view today. I guess, in this day, one may be regarded as a voyeur, stalker or pervert for "beholding". Maybe a better term would be "appreciation" of beauty.

I grew up in the early 80's, before the implementation of the internet or digital downloads. Being a healthy teenager, I could not wait until Sports Illustrated came out with the annual printed swimsuit issue. It should have been a national holiday. I believe Jule Campbell, Sports Illustrated's then fashion reporter and model wrangler, was the reason for the issue's rise to fame. She had the "eye" for great images. Yes, the magazine had beautiful women in little pieces of fabric, photographed in exotic locations, but, it was the discipline of the players and the execution of the images that made the beauty happen. Walter Iooss, a SI staff sports shooter, was always my favorite photographer. When he and Jule teamed up, you knew the images would be great. The lighting, colors, pose and model talent, (such as Porizkova, Seymour, Crawford, Ireland, MacPherson, among others), always made for beautiful images. I "beheld" the beauty then, and, hopefully, by knowing the fashion reporter's and photographer's names, I won't be branded a voyeur, stalker or pervert.

It is in this pursuit of beauty, I created Safari Studios Adventures In Photography, a place where beauty can be recognized and created once again. I don't believe it has disappeared, we just have to learn how to behold and appreciate its presence again. Maybe, like Milton, we find that our Paradise Lost can become our Paradise Regained

And, once we Explore the possibilities, we can Discover the capture and we can all Experience the beautiful and wonderful images created. Calling all potential Supermodels. What Is Your Adventure?






[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) beauty paradise lost photography Thu, 02 Oct 2014 01:30:50 GMT
In The Beginning What does one write when posting one's first blog? Where does one start? How does one begin? Ahhh, one starts at the beginning. Wait... not that beginning (see attached photo).

You see, when I was very young, my mother realized I had artistic possibilities. She was a stay-at-home mom while my dad worked in a factory. I would draw on the huge brown paper bags that groceries were carried in each weekend,  the days before "paper or plastic" . Probably the very first drawing I remember mom helping me draw was a little Santa Claus face with a round cherry nose. 

I remember in first grade, my teacher would pass out work sheets where you had to draw the subject in a block at the top of the page and write about that subject below. The first one to stick in my mind was having to draw the outer boundary of the United States and the teacher's amazement at my realistic capture. The praise and notoriety from that one drawing fanned my artistic flame. From there on, each work sheet was a new challenge, a new competition, a new frontier.

My first commissioned work came in second grade for one of the ladies in our school cafeteria. She requested a country scene with a barn on poster board. I added quails in the foreground for a special touch. When finished, I requested two dollars for my work and received four, I was bitten by the creative, and entrepreneurial, bug.

Since then, every opportunity has stretched and shaped the gift that God gave me way back then. I have illustrated books and book covers, animated a country music video, designed multi-million dollar projects, and even received a patent on a design. I have managed studios and photographed everything from baby and family portraits to female boudoir and glamour images, from product images to stock photography.

There is nothing like a beautifully created image. I created Safari Studios Adventures In Photography to satisfy my passion for such images. It is a creative outlet for my art and photography. I have always been inspired by great works of art, classic and modern. I love the classic sculptures of Bernini, the modern bronzes of Victor Issa. I love the classic painting/drawing styles of Da Vinci and Michelangelo, the modern works of Steve Hanks, Maxfield Parrish and Patrick Nagel. My experiences have shown me the power of creating images and the beauty in the creation. There is no other feeling like that of creating something from nothing. I am thankful to God for the opportunity and to my mom for nurturing the gift. It is truly an adventure to pursue.

My mom passed away in 2012 from uterine cancer. She always told me I had better do something with my talent, or she would kick my butt. I guess I had better get to work to avoid a butt-kicking.

I invite you to grab your khakis and sunscreen and join me on this adventure. What Is Your  Adventure?

[email protected] (Safari Studio Adventures) In The Beginning Thu, 25 Sep 2014 21:07:55 GMT