Individual Storytellers

Isabel  Isabel Wolf-Gillespie  * Personal Development Facilitator & Storyteller* CEEPSA Qualified Equine Complementary Health Therapist* Founder of the Earth Awareness Trust* Conservation Activist & Wilderness Journey Leader* Qualified State Nurse / Remote Emergency First Aid Responder


Profile and Outline of Story Collection Initiative: 

My name is Isabel Wolf-Gillespie, I am a 29-year-old woman, born and raised in a small village in Germany. From when I was little, I loved to read stories of exotic and wild places, of heroes and adventurers, imagining myself being one of the characters in these stories. Back then, if someone had told me, that one day I was going to lead a life like my story adventurers, I would have never believed them. Almost 10 years ago I made the decision to follow my heart and make a life in Africa. To this day, it proves to be one of the most important and shaping decisions I have ever undertaken. Africa is a continent tormented by extremes in every aspect. Precious natural conservation land borders on destructive, irreversibly damaging mines; wealthy homesteads are built right next door to poor, informal settlements or so called squatter camps; scholars are being driven by a chauffeur to a private school and a stone’s throw away, children walking 5km’s to school without shoes, packed lunches or decent teachers. Africa is my chosen home, where I can be of most use leading a life of purpose for the greater good of this planet and all that lives. Somehow this incredible land has touched my soul, even before I had set foot on its soil for the very first time.My path in life hasn’t been the most straightforward, but every turn in the road up until now and continuing, has taught me something about myself, my outlook on life or what I choose to do in life. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities, life lessons and individuals (two and four legged), that have crossed my path, shaping and inspiring what I do and why! For some or other reason, there is an energizing fire burning inside of me, a fire pushing me to fight complaisance, ignorance or an attitude of not caring.   Stories reach people on a social, cognitive and linguistic level and have the ability, to bring out emotions in us. Most people often don’t remember details of a conversation had, but they remember how the conversation made them feel.  Emotions are the energy needed to make long-lasting change for any cause. Among other initiatives, I feel a strong need to share powerful stories with people, in the hope of evoking empathy, compassion, understanding and respect for different/dying cultures, our planet earth or the animal kingdom. As part of this, I am creating a ‘Walking With’ Collection of short stories with photography images, hoping to share these with a worldwide audience. My first walk of this collection was with an indigenous African Tribe, the San people, formerly known as The Bushmen. The term “Bushmen” is considered derogatory, and I will refrain from using it.  The San are the indigenous people of Southern Africa, calling it their home for tens of thousands of years. Largely hunter-gatherers, their territories spanning across the vast expanse of wild, untouched African nature. The tribes are well-known for their profound connection with their land, their intimate knowledge of the natural world, and the delicate balance they have maintained for millennia with the environment. The Kalahari Desert in Botswana, has been described in many ways, but for me it depicts untouched desert beauty, solitude with an endless sky as far as the eye can see. The above sounds like from a book or movie, and it’s hard to comprehend, that in 2017, the Western way of life has almost but engulfed the way of the San, like many other indigenous tribes. Indigenous cultures are diminishing as rapid as our wildlife and nature due to a loss of habitat, empathy and respect. The interconnectedness of all things, cannot be made any clearer. Humanity is at a cross road, and as part of this interconnection, each human has the responsibility to care and act. How can we preserve a culture as precious, unique and connected as the one of the San? The Western World is a digital world, but what connects us is that everyone loves a good story, whether written, spoken or viewed. My time with them, will be about hearing their stories, listening to their voices and way of life. Learning how survival was possible, in a land with almost no water and limited food sources. The San’s care for the natural world, their knowledge and some of the stories shall be written and re-told in an attempt, to share them with the world, to evoke empathy and understanding and therefore preservation and protection.
To find out more about Isabel and her work please visit www.earthawareness.co.za


Isabel was born and raised in Germany and has moved to Southern Africa almost 10 years ago. She is the Author of two book publications, 'Between Fire & Shadow' and the German Publication 'Südafrika vom Sattel aus', both available on Amazon. She has been living all over Southern Africa actively involved and leading a variety of community and conservation initiatives/projects. 


Together with Lloyd, Isabel is managing their business In the Company of Horses. Her interest and field of work lies with equine facilitated activities and therapies and she focuses on personal development work. She is a member of the KZN Equine Facilitated Intervention Association of South Africa. She is a story teller and public speaker, with the aim of sharing and gathering stories to inspire, empower and uplift her causes. Through the Earth Awareness Trust and its varied initatives all aimed at creating social change for the better of this planet, she has developed strong relationships and collaborations with internationally recognized organizations such as the Blue Sky Society Trust, One Nature Films, the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization. Future collaborations and projects are in development. 

Our journey with horses continuously makes us look at ourselves and we are always trying to improve our relationship with our horses. Ultimately it is about understanding ourselves and how one perceives life. We choose to ride bitless and shoeless. Our horses are Boerperd or Boerperd crossbreds, ranging in height from about 14 to 16hands. They live out as a complete herd in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands.

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We choose to ride bitless and shoeless. Our horses are Boerperd or Boerperd crossbreds, ranging in height from about 14 to 16hands. They live out as a complete herd in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands.