This is a tale about Elephants, Samurai, Rugby 7s and a Welshman, which is in all honesty not an opening line I ever expected to write. I am going to assume for the purpose of brevity that you are capable of telling each of them apart. If not I suggest you take a crash course in geography and zoology, watch the match between Japan and New Zealand in the 1995 RWC, take a trip to Melrose in Scotland and buy some industrial strength lubricant.
We then got a real treat, Edwin the senior keeper, allowed us to walk in with the herd of Elephants at the orphanage. It was an unbelievable privilege to walk with such beautiful and intelligent animals and something none of us will ever forget! I even got to meet Kauro an elephant that my wife and I had adopted personally some time before whilst on honeymoon. I learnt that Elephants recognise you by scent and that by blowing gently on the end of their trunk is how they identify individuals.
|Elephants, Edwin, Samurai & Angela Sheldrick 2015|
|iWorry - An Elephant Is Killed In Africa Every 15 Minutes By Poachers|
|Samurai In With The Herd 2016|
There are endless quotes and sound bites on the subject of "making a difference" but two of them from very different sources have always resonated with me. As we headed back to the hotel, with the players discussing Elephants around me, I played them over and over again in my head wondering how we could make a difference in something that was a global problem. The first has been used by many different people over the years but the version I had heard was from world renowned conservationist Jane Goodall:
"The least I can do is speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves"
The second was from my childhood, one of Aesop's Fables told to me by my parents, probably after I had committed yet another heinous act of childish villainy and in the vain hope of keeping me from continuing to turn into the sort of nightmare child every parent must dread.
"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."
|Elephant Mural At DSWT|
|Terry Sands & Ambo|
|Simotua (b.2014 d.2016)|
And yes, my nieces and nephews can all expect one for Christmas.
|The Tembo Shirt|
So fast forward to the Safaricom 7s in 2016, three of the players from 2015 had made the selection for this year's Samurai team. Sadly Luke Crocker could not get released by Cardiff to play but Scotland International Michael Fedo and Spanish Olympians Paco Hernandez and Ignacio Martins travelled once again to Kenya to compete at the Safari 7s.
|Samurai International - Runners Up At Safari 7s 2016|
|Samurai & Kenya 2016|
|Samurai International At DSWT 2016|
We will speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.
And we will #ProtectTheHerd
PS, They do look similar.
Samurai 7s 2015
Ignacio Martins, Paco Hernandez, Glen Rolls (Spain), Pierre Peres (France), Youness Hou (Maroc), Oscar Ouma, Felix Ayange, Sammy Oliech (Kenya), Luke Crocker, Elliot Frewen (Wales), Michael Fedo (Scotland), Sam Isaacs (England)
Samurai 7s 2016
Ignacio Martins, Paco Hernandez (Spain), Michael Fedo, Scott Wight, James Fleming, Dougie Fife, Jimmy Johnstone, Darren Gillespie, Nick McLennan (Scotland), Patrice Agunda, Churchill Ooko, Dan Sikuta (Kenya), John Dawes (England)