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A Day in the Life of... Ester Nalwemba

Esther Nalwemba has been GRI's House Keeper at the Lilayi Elephant Nursery for 3 years. Her work involves cleaning the kitchen, bathroom, reception and office, occasional cooking, and preparing tents for visitors. She also helps the Keepers to prepare the elephant milk when there is a shortage of keepers around. She enjoys working at Game Rangers International, because she loves animals and has the opportunity to meet different people from different countries and cultures. She wakes up really early every morning and prepares her children for school, then rides a bike to work and reports for work by 7.30.

Who is your favourite elephant orphan?

My favourite elephant is Kasewe because she is a very interesting elephant.

How does it affect you when there is a new rescue or translocation?

I usually prepare the mattresses and blankets and help make the milk when a new orphan arrives. I feel like we have added to the family and wonder what their personality they will have. When one of the orphans is translocated to the Release Facility, I feel bad, because I will not see those elephants again.

How do you feel about poaching?

I love all living things and respect their existence, I don’t understand why someone would kill an elephant, especially if it’s naturally existing and causing any trouble to anyone.

As a woman, what would be your advice to women who know their husbands are engaged in poaching?

I would help them realise that if their husbands are caught poaching they will be the one to suffer because they fully depend on a wrong cause, and I would encourage them to find work themselves. If you get a job or start up a business, then your husband won't depend so much on poaching and will eventually be encouraged to do something that’s not affecting the environment.

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