Meeting Dr Jane Goodall a few hours before her Rewind the Future (Sydney) Presentation
I had the absolute privilege of meeting and chatting with Dr Jane Goodall a few weeks ago and I can hands down confirm that she is just as amazing and inspiring in real life as she is in all the books, videos and documentaries she's written or featured in over the past six decades.
On the morning of the day I met Jane I had no idea that I would have this opportunity to meet her personally, let alone one-on-one! I was helping out the Jane Goodall Institute Australia (JGIA) team at the Sydney event for Jane's Rewind the Future Australian Tour, and although I had heard there might be a 'special surprise' for us when we arrived at the venue, I never would have thought that a personal audience with Jane would have been possible.
When I heard of this news it was about half and hour prior to standing next to her, and I clutched my copy of her book Reason for Hope to steady my nerves and excitement at the prospect of being face to face with THE Jane Goodall. The 26 year old English girl who travelled to Africa in the 1960s to live and breathe with wild chimpanzees in Gombe all those years ago and who made a lifelong commitment to sharing her story with as many global citizens as possible. Who now, at age 85, continues to travel the world for 300 days each and every year despite the fact that she does not enjoy the planes nor the hotels (she would prefer to be in Africa on the ground). I was so emotional that I have no idea what anyone said to me (or anything that I said to anyone else) in this 30 minutes of anticipation before her arrival. And then there she was, right in front of us, smiling endearingly and speaking softly to our room of 15 or so people.
It was my turn to meet her and it was just like chatting to an old friend - we had been warned that she didn't have too much time so we all needed to be respectful of keeping to the time limit of 2 minutes. We first spoke about how my middle name (Jane) and her name were the same, to which she commented Who gave you that name? It must have been a grandparent or great-grandparent?
It was indeed my Nan. I choked up a bit as we proceeded to talk about Nan and how she was close to her 90th birthday. 'Only 5 years apart then', remarked Jane. In some ways they are very similar.
I mentioned that I was reading her Reason for Hope book and loving it, and she was only too happy to sign it. I said just to sign her name would be perfect - however she insisted on writing a personal message (see above) which I will cherish forever.
I went on to sell merchandise and hang out with the beautiful team from the JGIA headquarters, and later that night, when I came down to earth, I reflected on what had happened and had to pinch myself that it wasn't all a dream....!
Hi there and thanks for dropping by! I'm Tehla Jane and I'm a self-confessed word nerd, bookworm and yoga devotee from Wollongong, Australia. I love to wonder and wander, and especially love spending time with my two little girls and hubby Glen. My blog is inspired by my daily musings in my trusty journal, where I scribble out endless pages in almost illegible handwriting and occasionally convert this into a typed format! Welcome!