Archive for the ‘Learning about bush life’ Category

Hello Beautiful People, Please forgive me for taking so long to write. These last few weeks have proved themselves to be life affirming.

Robbers attacked very close family friends of mine, on the eve of Easter. Two had guns, plus 4 other men. One gunman put his gun to my friends’ head, a 17-year-old young man, we’ll call him ‘M’ (don’t want to disclose names).

M had the gun at his head first and was walked in to the house with the other gunman and robbers, he remained calm until the second gun was put to his father’s head. M grabbed his gunman’s gun, while they struggled and both men’s hands were on the gun, he muscled the gun to point towards the other gunman who had his gun pointed at his father head and then through the struggle that gun was fired and shot the second gunman.

The bullet went through the robbers’ stomach and hit his dad’s wrist. His Dad will be fine, the gunman didn’t make it. The 17-year-old got the gun out of his gunman’s hands and all the other robbers fled.

This is a very short version, but really not my story to tell, more to explain what can happen here and to also help people understand the strength of conviction our children are raised with here.

This doesn’t happen all the time, but we are raised to be ready for anything, and obviously most of the time you do as they say and give them what they want, but M knew these gunmen were not there to just take money and things and he did what he had to, in order to save his father. The police have ‘shoot to kill’ orders for these remaining robbers.

Also going on during this time was our move, the unpacking, the settling in, and my ex-landlord who is giving me hassles, threatening me (a very real thing in this country), ignoring my emails, calls and text messages as the poor little man does not want to part with the money he owes me! This is not unusual in Kenya, as getting your money back from certain individuals is like ripping a dinosaur out of the tar pits.

I have tried, being polite, showing kindness, presented proof of all documents explaining how much he owes me and why. But, he is one of those men who thinks by threatening me I will meekly walk away with my head down, poor chap doesn’t know me very well.

I went to the police station last Thursday and reported him, and the police agreed I could have him arrested on many different charges, but we all agreed to wait till today to see if he would come around. He hasn’t, which means back to the station this afternoon as they will have to bring him in. This should be interesting. Many things can happen in this situation, we’ll just have to wait and see and pray for a positive outcome. I will keep you posted on the turn of events with this story.

On a positive note Savanah and I love our new, yet old colonial house. It still needs much work, but we are used to that. The animals are settled in and Joyce my amazing house lady is thankful to have bigger staff quarters for her and her three children.

I know this is not one of my funny adventures, but I was asked by my friends here in Kenya to also share the other side of living in this beautiful country. To help people understand why we work hard, party hard and appreciate everyday.

God Bless and Lots of Love to Everyone…


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Hello Beautiful People, Just a quick update. We are moving tomorrow, so I went over to the new house yesterday to see how the work had progressed. The toilets in the staff quarters, not done. The electrical wires, still hanging down the wall. The floors still not finished. But, the good news the fence only had one whole left to be fixed. When you live here one must leave their idea’s of promptness behind them, as Kenyans lives on a whole different time line. LOL. I called the landlord and asked very politely, “When will everything be ready?” the response “Dont worry Tana, everything will be ready.” Translation, when they get to it. So one thinks to themselves, ok don’t worry, I will put in a portable camping toilet, keep dogs out of rooms with hanging wires and dogs will live inside till fence fixed LOL… This will work for a tad bit. xxx

I want to Thank everyone for their continued support of my BLOG.

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After on amazing summer holiday spent at the coast with my beautiful daughters and friends, it was time to drive back to Karen in our 25 year old Land Cruiser.

Now normally it may take people anywhere from 5 to 8 hours but our dear old vehicle took us at least 10 hours. Slow and easy but always home safe and sound.

This year on our way home we had 6 teenagers with us all exhausted from two weeks of parties and fun.

About 6 hours in to the drive in the far off distance I saw a Policeman and yes he was waving me down. When I got close enough to him I pulled over. “Hello Sir, how can i help you?” I asked. To which he replied, “ Hello Madam. I am afraid you were speeding and I will have to impound your vehicle.” I laughed to myself as he didn’t have one of those speed reading machines and I had to think fast as we were literally in the middle of no where.

“Oh Thank you officer,” I said. This confused him, and he looked at me strangely. I continued to explain myself to him. “Sir, do you have any idea what it is like driving hours on the road with 6 teenagers who are hungry and tired? So, thank you! please take the car and please make sure there are enough beds for all the teens and plenty of food, oh and would you please call all their parents and let them know where they can collect their children, from your phone as I don’t have enough credit.” I then smiled.

He just looked at me and literally scratched his head. “Madam, I think we can come to another arrangement.” We both smiled, I handed him the crisps that I had on the seat and wished him a good night and drove off. While driving away we started laughing concluding yet another great holiday.

Hope you enjoyed this little story and please leave me a comment on this story or tell me one of your own! Have a wonderful fun filled day! xxx T

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Hello Everyone, I will be posting funny short stories and some very real stories about Kenyan police. For those of you who don’t know, most of our police do not have vehicles, they stand on the side of the road and wave you over to stop you! They also shoot first AND then ask questions!

I was very politely waved off the road by the police officer. They must have a special class they take while training for law enforcement as every single one of them have the look of doom on their face when they first see you.

“Hello Sir, How is your day?” Then I smile.

“Fine Madam.” I smile and he smiles back, this is a good sign.

“Is everything ok?” Keep the smile on.

“I need a lift to Karen, will you please drop me”

“Off course, hop on in”

Make friends with the nice officer and hope he remembers you were the nice Mzungu (white person), they usually do.

This is common practice in Kenya.

Hope you have a few giggles with me and please leave a comment and tell me some of your stories.

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Hi Everyone, Here is my latest story, this one kept the girls and me talking for years to come. I posted in the ‘4 GO WILD’ tab.

“I kept calling out “hear kitty kitty” more to amuse myself and also give any game a heads up”

Hope you enjoy it. xxx

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Would love to hear from you after you read them! Share with us your countries little quirks, we all had a great time coming up with ours.

I have another story in the works will try to post it in the next few days, so keep checking in. Thank you for all your support and kind words! xxx

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13th March 2010

I was born in 1963 to Ralph Helfer and Toni Scott also known as Toni Ringo Helfer. If you have read my Mum’s book, Gentle Jungle you will get to know the whole story of how I came in to this beautiful world. But my story begins from early childhood stories and pictures and then my own memories kick in.

'Beauty and Baby'I was brought home to our little cabin, which was at a bottom of hill in Soledad Canyon across from our ranch, which was Called Africa U.S.A. Some of you may remember this company name as it was world renowned for being the largest exotic Animal compound in America and my Dad was renowned for revolutionizing the motion picture industry with exotic animals by creating, what the pressed called ‘Affection Training’. Some of you may even remember our tv shows Daktari, Gentle Ben, Cowboy in Africa, Flipper, Beast Master, Any Which Way you Can, Savage Harvest and about 4000 more combined motion pictures, tv series, commercial and print work.

By the time I was born the only thing my mum had ever raised was her pet dogs, and my Dad had raised everything but a human child, I am sure this intrigued him and why I got deemed the tester child jokingly of course, but called Mogley the girl child. He believed because he was so successful in raising all his amazing creatures that adding a human child to the bunch would work out just fine. It did.

I literally shared my crib with orangutan babies and chimp babies, hence my amazing flexibility and wrestling skills were learned at a very young age, Later in life this didn’t help me with the boys, but made my dad feel much better. Zamba who was better known to me as my God Father lived in the house with us, all 550lbs of masculine full mane Zambian Lion. He was the most gracious, gentlest of souls and we loved each other dearly. Needless to say no one could just approach me with out his permission. My Dad was an avid snake lover, which explained the wooden coffin in the house where Astaroth my dads 18ft python resided.

At the ranch were not only animals, but the unforgettable trainers, also known as wranglers. And some even known as x-cons, Vietnam vets and actress that couldn’t find work. Does this help in setting up the world I was born in to? I LOVED EVERY MOMENT. I ran around topless, but had to wear shorts or pants, I had curly blond hair, big blue eyes and could hang with the best of them. The people and the animals were truly a Jungle Book life and nothing about it was ‘real’ life to anyone I ever met on the outside, yet it was the closest to heaven I could imagine. Literally.

When my parents were working I was left in the nursery with all the other babies animals, we grew up together. They grew much faster then I did and moved out of the nursery long before me! When I was finally up and walking that was when I got to play in the arena with all other babies, all mixed in together, leopard babies, lions babies, tiger babies, cougar babies, bear babies and so on! We had a blast together, although it would be years before I got the upper hand, I endured years of having my tackies (sneakers) torn off and chewed, my pants torn from wrestling around, but I learned everything from my animal family, especially how to be a better HUMAN.

More to come…

How have your animals influenced your life? I would like to know.

If you are interested you can click on my side bar and see My Dad’s book’s Modoc and Zamba and Mum’s Book Gentle Jungle, Both International best sellers. Learn more about the family history.

I am trying to get someone in the states to scan the cover of my book to upload, so coming soon the out of print WHEN YOU FIGHT THE TIGER.

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