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Village News

WI - Oct 2019

On the 12th September, we had the pleasure of having our fellow member Jan Peterson share her photos and account of helping an Elephant Orphanage in Zambia.  Jan was volunteering through Game Ranger’s International. The elephant nursery had been established in 2007 with the support of David Shepherd.  Successful volunteers who pass the interviews are accepted to stay at the Resource and help the projects for this incredible and worthwhile experience.  Game Rangers International work in wildlife rescue, resource protection, outreach plus education to local communities and much more. 


Elephant populations have been greatly reduced, primarily by poachers.  Rangers take on the role of parent elephant to these orphaned young animals to feed them and teach them how to live in the wild.  This can include living day and night with the younger ones.  The ranger may need to feed the younger orphaned elephants every 3 hours, day and night. They also teach basic survival such as covering themselves with mud and dust for protection against sunburn.  When elephants are about 4 years old they move to another Game Rangers International facility within Kafue National Park.  Here they are gradually exposed to their natural habitat whilst able to return to this facility for as long as they need to.


Elephants naturally live in close-knit groups.  When the elephants are nearer adulthood, they are semi-released and start to roam into the wild on their own for a few days at a time.  Elephants have clear skills that we value in our human society; empathy, self-awareness and social intelligence.


Elephants lifespan is around 60 years.  They have around 40,000 muscles just in their trunk. As they mature and their co-ordination develops, they can pick up surprisingly small items with their trunk.  A baby elephant will drink 2litres in about 30 seconds. In adulthood, the elephants will drink up to 50-60litres at a time.  Elephants are definitely a species well worth protecting


Jan summed up her experience of a lifetime with;

‘There’s nothing like hearing a lion roar whilst lying in your tent at night!’


On the evening of 10th October 2019, we welcomed 2 new members to the North Waltham W.I. Our numbers have steadily increased over the years to our lively group we have in 2019.

At this meeting, we were transported into the world of Air Traffic Control during an interesting talk by Jen Thompson NATS (National Air Traffic Services).  Jen donates all speaker fees to charity MIND.

No longer are Air Traffic Controllers sat at the top of a tower in the middle of the runways.  Air traffic can be organised from sites away from the airports.  England’s airways are some of the busiest in the world.  The airspace above England and neighbouring waters is divided into sections and managed by more than one organisation. 

The number of routes which planes fly has not changed since the 1950s, yet the amount of traffic on these routes has multiplied vastly.  An air traffic controller can be managing up to 20 aircraft at one time.  In 2018 there were 2.5million flights over England.  In 2019, one of the busiest days was 5th July with 8,863 flights in just one day.  The busiest Heliport is in Aberdeen.

The international language for aviation is English and has a vocabulary of just 300 words.  The phonetic alphabet is used as all the words sound differently to avoid mistakes.  The absolute priority of safety requires simple recognised instructions with specific meanings.  Air traffic control safety is further enhanced by all aircraft now having transmitters which identify their aircraft, location and speed. This along with instrument landing systems at all major airports enables automatic overrides to avoid aircraft collisions that might have occurred should human instruction be given incorrectly.


We would also like to share that one of our members, Christine Dollery, has had her photo of St Mary’s Church at Portchester Castle accepted for the WI Calendar – this is the second year running that one of Christine’s photos has been accepted - congratulations!   


Next Meetings:

Thursday 14th November 2019 – Blood Bikes:  Volunteers who use motorcycles used to transport blood and other urgent medical supplies between hospitals and other health care facilities.

Thursday 12th December 2019 – Christmas Social:  Mince pies, mulled wine and sharing of poems/short stories/ditties/etc.


Why not come along as a guest, a potential new member, or as someone who is interested in listening to a particular speaker.  We are a cheerful group of ladies and we do have fun!  If anyone would like to come along or would like more details please contact Carolyn Brown

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