Its 4am NZ time and I’m waking up bleary-eyed to tune into a webinar taking place on the other side of the world in South Africa – it’s a more reasonable hour there. Today’s Wild Webinar topic is Pangolins. This seems fitting as it also World Pangolin Day this week – Saturday 20 Feb.
This Wild Webinar series has been put together by ecowarrior, humanitarian and anam ċara (soul friend), Carla Geyser. All part of her 2021 projects to raise awareness for boots-on-the-ground conservation work. The goal is also to raise much-needed funds for these projects struggling in the time of Covid-19.
A couple of weeks ago it was a 4am wake up to learn all about Southern Ground Hornbill.
I love being a part of the Blue Sky Society. I learn so much from these incredible ecowarriors sharing their stories. Carla providing another forum to give these people a voice for their passion and their work is invaluable. It is real and authentic and sincere.
Now I don’t have a lot of money to contribute to all these incredibly valuable causes. The little I can give, I do. It is said so often these days that maybe we don’t believe it anymore, but every little bit really does count. Contributions great and small really do matter! Spreading the word, sharing stories and raising awareness focuses the energy of intention in the right direction too. So I will keep tuning into the webinars to find out more and using forums like this to share what I’ve learned. My other small contribution to the Wild Webinars are education activity downloads for kids. You can find the link to download at the bottom of each project page on the Blue Sky Society Trust website.
On a chilly Saturday in August last year, I was up in the wee hours again. This time to tune into another of Carla’s brilliant schemes to share conservation project work in a Covid world – a virtual radio-collaring of an elephant! The first ever live broadcast of an elephant collaring.
Carla won an award for this particular project – Innovator of the Year Award from the Resource Alliance Global Fundraising Awards.
It’s not only wildlife and wild places that get Carla’s attention. She has a heart for community too. Her Soul2Sole initiative is the perfect example. This little video captures the essence of this wonderful humanitarian project that has been running since 2015.
Let’s rewind for a moment….I first heard about Carla Geyser’s Blue Sky Society Trust in 2016 when she gathered a tribe of women for wildlife and embarked on an epic road trip from South Africa to Kenya – the Elephant Ignite Expedition. The goal was to highlight and raise money for vital conservation work for African Elephant, community upliftment and environmental education.
Spurred on by the success of this journey, Carla followed this up with the Rise of the Matriarch expedition in 2018. I watched this expedition unfold with longing interest, wanting to be a part of this incredible journey.
In 2019 I finally got that chance to get involved and crew on one of the Blue Sky Society Trust’s Journeys with Purpose. From the moment I sat in the passenger seat of Dora, Carla’s lovely little Landrover (pictured in a couple of places in this blog post), I knew I would know Carla forever. I knew she was part of my tribe and that I would want to support her work in any way I could. That we were anam ċara.
I wrote an article about that Journey with Purpose:
Hooked, I signed up for another Journey with Purpose in 2020 but alas it was not to be. So now we are back where this blog post started – Carla finding creative means to continue her ecowarrior ways in the midst of a global pandemic!
I share this with you as yet another example of ordinary folk like you and me who are affecting momentous change for the good of all. When you’re in the thick of the work, it probably isn’t always easy to see the impact. If your work doesn’t get the popularity or following of others with grander backing or better resourcing, it can no doubt be dispiriting. But I believe the key is to trust your Purpose and Passion. Remember your “Why”.
To me, Carla embodies this idea. She has a seemingly indomitable spirit and drive for the work of the Blue Sky Society Trust. She knows her “Why” deeply and keeps it front and centre even when times are tough. She does it all with a smile, a great sense of humour, endless positivity, numerous plan Bs and that all-important getting back to Nature regularly. She knows her strengths and surrounds herself with a tribe who can play to theirs.
Carla and her Blue Sky Society are the kind of people we need to surround ourselves with and spend time with. The soul friends who share that same vision for world we want to live in and for our children to inherit. This is what makes a Conservation Collective with the energy to be that force for good, to be the change we want to see in the world, for the Planet and for each other.