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Welcome to WHO KNEW?  A new feature focusing on life stories from our members and volunteers to share a little about the incredible organization we're building.

Every single one of us has an original story to tell about something we’ve experienced. We welcome yours. The more of us who sign-up to tell our stories, the more connections we will forge, coincidences we’ll uncover, and stories worth preserving will be surfaced!  Come on- sign up, share with all of us at Marin Villages. All you have to do is talk. We’ll come to you, or you come to us.

Rita Lakin 
Cheryl Sorokin

An Interview with David Abbot (MV)

David Albert

Beauty and the Ostrich

Everybody who travels comes home with adventure stories. Usually accompanied by too many photos on their Smart phones.  How many times have you been shown the Eiffel Tower? Try to look impressed at The London Bridge? Smile at yet another shot of the Great Wall of China? So when someone really has a unique travel tale, it’s worth listening.

Marin Villages volunteer Rita Lakin wrote this story up after hearing Dave Albert tell it to a group of Marin Villagers earlier this year. Dave lives in Tiburon and is a long-time supporter of Marin Villages

Reliving a Great Travel Moment !

It all started when my dark-haired beautiful wife Joyce’s, birthday was coming up. We planned a trip to a working ostrich farm on the outskirts of Oudtshoorn in southwest central South Africa. Now that was something atypical in travel spots. All the way to Africa to an ostrich farm! Where we were promised to get close and personal with the world’s largest flightless birds.

Besides learning all kinds of information, about the Zimbabwean, Kenyon and South African ostriches, we visitors ate in the restaurant at the camp. We were tempted into eating ostrich meat once we discovered it was healthy, low in calories, low in fat, and actually tasted good. We also were being tempted to buy one-of-kind gifts like handbags and feather boas from the huge gift shop. We resisted.

But there was something extra being offered. We were among about twenty-five tourists gathered outside in the corral where there was a lesson on ostrich statistics; like the ostrich can run about 41 mph. His neck is nine feet from the ground. They fight off predators with severe kicking. Some say they even spit. And they do not hide their heads in the sand; that’s a myth.

And then they announced a ride on the back of an ostrich!  After what we just learned, who would want to volunteer? There was a lot of shaking of heads.  I was amazed. My wife, Joyce, held up her hand and volunteered. All eyes turned to her. Whatever possessed this petite woman to do that? I was afraid, and maybe Joyce was, too. She was accepted because she weighed less than 150 pounds, which was all that an ostrich could carry.

I watched nervously as two natives, on either side held the bird by the wing stubs. A third boosted her up onto the bird’s back. How brave she was! I was proud of my wife. For about six minutes (which felt like an hour), the natives ran like hell to keep up to the ostrich who ran two circuits around the corral while Joyce was hanging on for her life clinging to the wing stubs. I think I held my breath the whole time.

The ride over (thank God) Joyce was helped down by the guys. The tourists clapped. She took a small bow. I breathed again.

After we returned our trip was made famous with a photo of her on her ostrich, in the March 18 copy of Ark Magazine. It was my fun way to keep the memory of the trip alive.  See below!  To this day, still, much more interesting to chat about than the Eiffel Tower.

Make sure you check out other "Who Knew ?" profiles at the links below:

Reliving a Great Travel Moment - David Albert (MV)

The Trouble with Dogs - Paula Weinberger (NV) - Poet

Salvador Dali's Walking Renoir - An Interview with Georgette London Owens (RVV)

Project Manna A memoir from Peter Davis (TPV)


Marin Villages is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization • 415-457-4633 • • 
4340 Redwood Highway, Suite F-142 San Rafael, CA 94903