This week we commemorated World Ranger Day –a day aimed at celebrating the work rangers do to protect the planet’s natural resources as well as honoring rangers killed or injured in the line of duty. It’s also fitting that we honour the people who are doing their best to enhance the welfare of the men and women risking it all for our wildlife. One of these individuals is Rhian Gastineau, who is a participant in the Ol Pejeta For Rangers Virtual Ultra.
Rhian is currently 2nd on the Virtual Ultra Leaderboard, having walked more than 1900 km virtually through Kenya’s rhino conservancies. Her tally of kilometers covered is even longer than the official designated route (1,245 Km) - an amazing feat.
Rhian was raised up in Kenya and Zambia and has worked around the continent in various capacities over the years. She moved to Moscow some years back but her extended connection to Africa, love for conservation and her love for walking inspired her to sign up for the Virtual Ultra.
Even with Moscow’s famous cold weather, Rhian has kept up with a rigorous routine that has propelled her to the top of the leaderboard. Each working day she takes lengthy walks around her workplace before and after work (each shift ranging between for 30 minutes to 2 hours per day). She ramps it up on the weekends, walking for 3 hours daily. The Virtual Ultra give people options to complete the 1,245km journey via running, cycling or walking and Rhian has use the latter method to cover and exceed her target.
In addition to blazing the trail when it comes to kilometres covered, she has also raised $350 for Ol Pejeta’s rangers. This is still short of her desired target of raising $1,245 by the end of the year but you can help her achieve her goal by donating here.
Her parting shot for everyone who would like to support wildlife conservation is, “while we all can't be rangers, we can all do our part to support different conservation efforts around the world. Pick something that is meaningful to you and find a way to support their efforts. Having grown up going to game parks or conservancies on family holidays, I am very passionate about keeping our wildlife safe for future generations. So I appreciated that Ol Pejeta offered a way to support their efforts from a distance. But it is important to do something to support different efforts around the world. If we all do a small part it will make a big difference.”