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Published: 31 August 2013

By Andy Ross

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The Importance of Being Connected

A few years ago we spent a very happy few weeks in Zimbabwe where I was born.

The town I grew up in, Bulawayo, is in the south of the country. It is well-connected to the game parks and reserves of the country including Hwange National Park, a massive stretch of protected land with all its bird and animal life going about their daily business. The Park is a beautiful, wild place, some parts of which are so remote that it is a few days trek to get to them.

It was here that we met Wendy Blakeley. Wendy had retired from her previous career and had come to Zimbabwe to work with the Painted Dog Project. Along the way she had establsihed a performance group of young men whose families had been affected by HIV and this group performed for us and I for them.

A few years have passed since then. Wendy and I lost contact although she has often been in my thoughts because of her work and enthusiasm and vision. So, imagine my surprise when I received an email from Linked-In from her. Wonderful to get back in touch and to find out that her work continues although she no longer lives in Zimbabwe but back in California. Wendy still takes groups out to the country and is a director of the organisation she set up, Africa Matters. And most importantly is involved with education, conservation and understanding through the arts. Fantastic!

So, although I swear at Linked-In for being annoying omnipresent and constantly asking me to do things I do not want to do, it has come up trumps this time. I update my profile about twice a year on the system and then it allows people to find me and me to find people. And that is the importance of being connected!