Jane Goodall and the weta punga | Auckland

I have had the enormous pleasure to capture Jane Goodall‘s visit to Auckland this week. Jane Goodall is such a treasure and one of my all-time heroes. I devoured all her books as a young women and followed her activities ever since. I would have never thought I will ever get the opportunity to meet and connect with her in person. The encounter and whole day, organized fantastically by Auckland Zoo, was amazing. Her talk at the sold-out Aotea Centre raised everyone to a 5-minutes heartfelt standing ovation. She was beyond inspiring.

One thing is to be in awe of Jane Goodall and what she stands for but the next step, and that’s the one she is hoping to inspire in all of us, is to help her in her mission to make our world a better place. That sounds big and somewhat untouchable but I agree with her that every little action counts and that it is no good excuse to hide away from that collective responsibility with the attitude  ‘but that’s just the way things are done these days’. Well is it right and can it really not be changed in our little backyard?

One of her reasons to visit New Zealand was to kick-off her Roots & Shoots youth movement in our country. It is active in 130 countries and aims to plant the seeds for a compassionate Youth with a consciousness for environmental and humanitarian issues. If a new generation grows up with a heightened awareness for this one and only beautiful planet that we have been given there might be a chance for it to survive.

If you or your children, or your school would like to get involved in this fantastic movement contact Phil Bishop at phil.bishop@otago.ac.nz Phil is a Professor of Zoology in Dunedin, a dear friend of Jane Goodall and very enthusiastic about getting Roots & Shoots of the ground in Aotearoa. Have a look at the amazing Roots & Shoots projects and the kids’ achievements. I just love one first-grader’s statement to his teacher: “We are doing BIG people work, right, Ms. Gossett?!” Beautiful. So true. There are lots of people in this world who see and feel and know. I hope there will be enough and more and more and more of us…

Enthusiastic gratitude to Jane Goodall for all she has and is doing for the utterly beautiful chimpanzees, for us all and for me. For her devotion and her everlasting inspiration.

At Auckland Zoo, Jane met our iconic weta punga for the first time in her life. It crawled up to her face and tickled her gently with it’s long antennas. Lots of us might screech and run…but not Jane Goodall. I can only read love and delight in Jane’s face about this new encounter…can’t you!?

Love, Kathrin

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