Kenya Trip Notes from the Field: Sandy Tytel

By Sandy Tytel, Chair, MedShare New York Regional Council

My name is Sandy Tytel, and I currently serve as a member of MedShare’s North East Regional Council. My daughter Jennifer is also involved with MedShare and is planning a Young Professionals Fundraising Event in NYC. We woke up this morning in Nairobi after 22 hours of traveling, filled with so much excitement and adrenaline. We couldn’t wait to start our day and adventure. While tomorrow is dedicated to meeting our Kenyan health care partners—more of a real roll up your sleeves work kind of day–today is more about getting acquainted with one another. Many of us have never met before. Ginny, Laureen, Jennifer and I represent the New York Region. Angie, Meredith, Pat, Lindsay, Charlie, Tom, A.B., Tina and Terry represent Atlanta. Ed, from Missouri works for Catholic Healthcare and Bob and Liz are from San Francisco. Following a relaxing and delicious buffet breakfast at the hotel, our group was on its way.  First stop, The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust—an elephant orphanage in Nairobi. All I can say is WOW. This place is so impressive and inspiring. We met 16 rescued orphaned elephants ranging from 3 months to 34 months of age who arrived at the Nursery in mourning and traumatized by the events that caused the separation from their mothers. These calves are fed, loved and cared for until they are ready to be released back into the wild. The humanity demonstrated by the elephant keepers was awe-inspiring. The keepers truly become parents to the orphaned elephants and stay with them up until they are fully comfortable in their new wild environment.

The experience at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust was not only educational, moving and emotional, but also a wonderful start to what we know will be an amazing trip. The elephant orphanage was a wonderful introduction to Kenya, its landscape and unique wildlife as well as to each other. Can’t wait until tomorrow!

Angie Fife Engelberger, MedShare Southeastern Council Member

Baby Elephant

Elephant at the David Sheldrick WIldlife Trust

This post is part of a series we’re doing over the coming days while MedShare staff and Board of Trustee members travel through Kenya from February 17 – 27. We invite you to share the experience with them by reading their stories; to access them, click on the “Africa Trip“  icon in the right sidebar. Safe travels, team!

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