Is that lion’s hair in your wallet?

Why, yes it is.

So, for those of you who don’t know, I grew up in Kenya, East Africa. I was three months old when I first arrived in Kenya. Technically I flew before I walked. My dad has lived there since he was two, his parents were missionaries in the Congo before they moved into Kenya. My dad went to college in the states, married and took my mom back to Kenya to follow in his parent’s footsteps.

I have a good friend out there named Jim. He’s a retired U.S. embassy veterinarian, who lives with his wife on a 20-acre farm, subdivided on a 20,000 acre wildlife sanctuary. Jim’s love for animals certainly didn’t retire when he did; he has at least four lions and a leopard. I believe he just captured a fifth lion last month. Most of the cats he has have been injured in one way or another and because the Kenyan government would rather let them die, Jim takes them in and cares for them.

Jim has no children, but if you ask him, these wild cats are his children and he treats them as I would my kids. Everything Jim has goes to pay to feed these animals. At more than $500 a week, it’s almost more than he can afford. Sadly, Jim would go without a meal before his cats do. I was able to see him last October and it was a wonderful reunion. I first met Jim in Nairobi National Gamepark back in 2001. Jim and I shared a passion for the Kenyan wildlife and we would meet up in the park several times a week and drive around spotting wildlife. Everything from cheetahs stalking deer, to rhinos and hippos, and lions eating a warthog.

Before I left in October, Jim gave me a clump of lion hair. He told me to carry it in my wallet for good luck. I still have it to this day and it will travel with me through the desert sands in Afghanistan.

So, yes, that is lion’s hair in my wallet.


3 Responses to “Is that lion’s hair in your wallet?”

  1. Jeannie Says:

    How many people can say they have that for good luck? If it works, maybe you can market it like the “Lucky rabbit’s foot”.

    BTW, we obviously don’t know each other, therefore if you’d prefer I not read or comment on your blog, please let me know and I’ll respect that.

    • jetgwot Says:

      That’s not a bad idea. Are you saying you’d like to place an order? 🙂 We might be on to something here …

  2. Ned St. John Says:

    When I was in Kenya in December I did not actually meet Jim, but we did meet his wife as she was returning from a shopping trip to Nairobi. I only got to see his lions from a distance. Ned

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