The morning she was departing nairobi, me to Canada and Erin to an operational environment somewhere in the world, a few moments were spent discussing the adventure and her take on the new world she had merely a tourists view on. Erin isn’t a novice traveller by any stretch. She’s travelled before her time in the military, she’s been to some of the world’s most inhospitable places at the behest of those who have called on Canada for help, and she has continued to travel the world to broaden her own soul.
During the interview she started by discussing how awkward she felt at being interviewed on a passion such as it is, but it wasn’t all about being friends and how she was gracious enough to afford a photographer the opportunity to shadow her during this very personal journey. The conversation was all encompassing; from the animals and the beautiful children, to white privilege and abject poverty. She discussed how it was that the children of Africa today were getting the opportunity to discover their own country in ways their parents may never know…and how wonderful that was. The topics ranged from the amusement of listening to some of the fellow travellers as they pouted about the horrors conditions of “roughing it”(them not knowing Erin is a soldier), to her real concerns on how some of the animals ended up in the sanctuaries…and how/when/if they would be released to the wild.
Erin is a beautiful soul and it is clear she is well placed in her life as a soldier who provides for others in the military. She is not a caregiver, not merely a provider, Erin is a protector. She exists for others but more specifically, she exists to stand tall for those that cannot stand for themselves. She stands for the innocent, for those struggling to merely prove they have the right to exist and survive…even thrive. She is easily more a fan of animals than people, but when it comes to those in need, especially the innocence of children, Erin is steadfast and true.
I had the audacity to accept the gratitude of this person, for sharing in her adventure. The honour was all mine.