Obama makes Historic Ruling on US Ivory Trade.

“In a joint press conference held with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Obama said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing a new regulation that “bans the sale of virtually all ivory across state lines.” The move follows a near-complete ban on the commercial ivory trade enacted by the administration last year.”

– Article published by Rhett Butler,  July 26, 2015


History is made, and on the same day, I reach a milestone in my quest, as I officially transfer raised funds to secure my volunteer spot at The Elephant Sanctuary, Zambia…..and now, airfare. Click here to donate – let’s make a difference: https://www.volunteerforever.com/volunteer_profile/valerie-downs



#17 – Yes, that would be my ass.

As you gather a few years under your mortal belt, hopefully, you will begin to become more and more knowledgable about which of life events are worthy of being labeled “DEVASTATING”. Of course, when you are going through such calamities, these events inevitably feel overwhelming and quite permanent. But trust me, they usually are not.

So, cool your tits.

Yes, these things totally SUCK ASS, and I also, would rather not have to experience any of them as well, but such is life.

So, stand back and gain some fucking perspective. These moments are no more than mere blemishes on the ass that is your life. There are more serious issues than life zits….like hemorrhoids, herpes and/or warts!

Your healing is essentially up to you.

So, stop fucking picking.

And, just so you know, your ass will also grow, along with your perspective.

So, grow the fuck up, pull up those stretch pants, own that big zitty ass and just get on with it.



Someone asked me today if I am scared about going to Africa.

I am.

I am scared.
I am scared about every couple of hours.

But, most of the things, I fear, are things that have nothing to do with traveling to and/or living in Africa.

  • I am scared, I am taking a month off of work without pay.
  • I am scared, my current jobs will be reassigned to someone else during my absence.
  • I am scared, my finances won’t be able to carry me through if I don’t raise enough funding.
  • I am scared, I won’t be able to pay my bills once I get back.

So, yes, I feel fear. Then, I quickly remember, this is not about me. At all…..

  • I remind myself that, fears will never, ever be enough of a reason to NOT become a part of this project. I am going.
  • I remind myself that, Zambia has presented itself to me for a reason. TRUST it. I am going.
  • I remind myself that, my ovaries will never require a maternity leave and/or time off to be with kids during summer months, so I this is minor in comparison. I am going.
  • I remind myself that, it is with an appreciative heart that I am asking my work to be accommodating, so hopefully all involved will be well and understanding. Either way, I am going.
  • I remind myself that, the Universe will bring me what I need, even if whatever that is isn’t what I consider ideal. I am going.

And, just breathe.


My Empathic Loop.

Energetically, I don’t deal with change well. Good or bad, it throws me for a bit of an empathic loop. I am highly sensitive to the energies surrounding me. I can walk into a full room of people, and FEEL, IN MY BODY their energetic vibrations, both good and bad. It’s a curse and a blessing.

  • If you are tense, I can discern it. It’s like pushing tacks into my stomach.
  • If you are unkind or toxic, I can detect your unsettling vibrations. It’s like eating tar and it cools in my chest.
  • If you are sad, I can sense a weight on my shoulders. It’s like carrying around a 10yo on my back.
  • If you have been abused, I can feel your emotional pain. It’s like having a 5lb weight on my chest.
  • If you are happy, I can absorb your glow. Your energy is like tasting sweet vanilla cream.
  • If you are calm, I can take on a more relaxed stance because you are offering yours. Your energy feels me like warm honey.

Once I came to terms with this “Seventh” sense, I began to educate myself and practice ways with which to protect, embrace and understand, what I would eventually see as, my gift.

The key for me, was learning how to decipher which energies are actually mine and which energies are being projected onto my spirit. With practice, I am proud to say, I can now, quickly determine that which isn’t mine. Sometimes, my tears aren’t about what I am feeling personally, but are actually a manifestation of what is being projected by a person who is sorrowful or lonely.

This seventh sense can be draining, but I am ok with that too. I have learned to allow myself a little more time to recover from life hiccups, season adaptations, schedule modifications and the unexpected amendments that inevitably occur in every day life. Some take me more time, others I am over it in a heartbeat. But for me, it’s all progress.

My most profound ways of recouping my energy is rest. Being a serious napper, I invest 2-5 hours in order to recover. I don’t judge it and even though I realize the world may view my needs as lazy, I know what I need. If I don’t identify the existence of energies, allow them to flow and release it, I am hindered in moving forward in my own truth. And afterall, isn’t that what life is all about? 🙂


T.E.O. Zambia – supported by David Shepard Foundation.

The David Shepard Foundation, along with Game Rangers International, were both instrumental in my decision to take over a month off of work and volunteer at The Elephant Orphanage Zambia in November, 2015. These trusted organizations gave me peace of mind that I would be participating in a true rescue/rehabilitation/release program and not a tourist experience.

To donate: https://www.volunteerforever.com/volunteer_profile/valerie-downs

Untitled(Following exert taken from www.davidshepherd.org website.)

Founded by DSWF in 2007 the Elephant Orphanage Project ( EOP ) now has two main sites, the Nursery Facility in Lilayi and the Release Facility in Kafue National Park.

The Nursery provides the round-the-clock care and attention that the young orphans desperately need. With regular 24-hour feeds required and often medical treatments too the keepers are on site 24/7.

When the elephants are weaned they are relocated to the release site in the Kafue National Park where they begin the re-wilding process, taking long and regular walks into the bush and browsing in the safety of the outer boma . It is here they come into contact with the wild herds that one day they will rejoin.

The project started with an elephant called Phoenix who was rescued by DSWF in February 2001 when, just weeks old, she was found trying to suckle from her dead mother. Against all the odds, Phoenix pulled through and became the catalyst of this exciting new project. Shortly after her successful release in the Kafue , Phoenix contracted bilary , previously unrecorded in elephants, and tragically died. The Release Facility was named Camp Phoenix in her honour and her memory lives on through the successful rescue, rehabilitation and release of new orphans.

The elephant orphanage is part of a wider programme of community outreach, education and park protection to ensure a long-term future for Zambia’s wildlife.