R is for Resilience – Turi at Rhino Charge 2019

Turi PupilHello! Hi, my name is Eli Ng’ang’a and a year 1 pupil at St Andrew’s School, Turi. With the help of a friend I’ll tell you a bit about my experience at this year’s Rhino Charge.
Trinity term is officially halfway through and there are two things that I’m really excited about; the long holidays and the fact that I’m now reading three letter words with ease. Ms Habtu, my class teacher ensures a carry a book home to practice every evening and mama will not let me play Minecraft before finishing my book.

Team Turi at the Rhino Charge

Turi at Rhino Charge Gauntlet 2019


I’ll be the first to admit, I’d rather be outdoors mucking about with my brother than be cooped up in the house reading a book. So when I was told that I would spend the better half of my half term as part of Team Turi at the Rhino Charge, I was quite the happy camper.

I couldn’t wait to ride in a real life (size) Dinky car, just a few weeks after my first Dinky Safari experience! Being so close to the scrutineering (whatever that means!) activities and not being able to get into the cars was absolutely disappointing; however going up and down the surrounding boulders as the cars were inspected (which is as close to mountain climbing as I’ve gotten yet), washed all that disappointment away and replaced it with pure excitement
Turi Rhino ChargeClimbing


The Resilient Team 17

Saturday morning came and we were up early and headed for the gauntlet. Here, I watched men and women go up and down boulders , just like I had the previous day except they were in their cars. It was awesome! As we waited for more cars to pass by, I did a lot more climbing- in between gulps of water to keep the dehydration away.

My top three moments from the Rhino Charge are easily watching the cars, collecting the white shiny rocks (which I brought back to Turi) and scaring my antsy sister at night (more on that in a minute).
We were far from class but I was happy to learn a new word. This past weekend R was not just for rhino but also for RESILIENCE. That is not a three letter word and I can’t promise you that I can spell it but thanks to my dad, I can tell you what it means- pushing through and getting back on track even after going through a difficult situation.
The ladies of car number 17 were a good example- caught in between a rock and a hard place (see what we did there) they kept at it for close to two hours and eventually got back into the race with the help of the team 38 and team 25 One of the officials told us that the teams showed good sportsmanship because they didn’t have to help.

New friends and cool ideas

Turi at Rhino Charge

This is the engine

I made a few friends at the Kids zone where Team Turi was stationed and our very own buggy was the star attraction.
The other children would have done anything to take  it for a spin but my brother and I were there to tell them why they couldn’t- it wasn’t made for this terrain! See..


They gave lot’s of cool ideas on how to make the buggy Rhino Charge worthy.
Some were inspired to build their own when they got back home (I’m counting on you to do so, James from Riara Springs).


Turi campsite

camp fire

The camp site was home for the weekend- it was also home to beetles, bugs and butterflies- well moths at night which my sister Julie is absolutely terrified of.
It may sound mean but I had a great time scaring her stiff by flinging bugs in her direction. She was less antsy (pun) by day three and got her turn to laugh at me when I had a surprise encounter with a troupe of ants outside my tent. Don’t worry, they didn’t bite. We sat around the camp fire each night talking and laughing.


One evening my brother Jeremy and our new friend Mr Nilesh of Tarpo industries were telling us about the black hole and theories I could not understand so I got busy fetching more firewood instead!

Save the environment

Turi Rhino ChargeTuri Rhino Charge

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see a Rhino like I’d expected but was happy with the elephants, giraffes, zebras, buffaloes that we saw. Our school, St Andrew’s, Turi supported the Rhino Charge this year because the money raised will be used to protect the environment and the homes of these animals so that many years from now children like me can also see them.
You can learn more about that here.
I’m back in class now and I can’t wait for lunch time so that I can tell my friend Ivan all about my weekend in the wild.

Save the animals