I’m drowning in Eldons this week, starting on Tuesday morning with Dan Eldon & Mom Kathy Eldon Take Us Into The Omo Valley & Heart Of Consciousness.
My own journey into the hearts, minds and actions of Eldons is a long one, far more psychologically complex than I can explain. I wrote Tuesday’s piece because my GlamTribale jewelry collection is taking its inspiration from the people of the Omo Valley this spring. And in this interesting confluence of coincidences, every road I take in life these days takes me straight to the Eldons, then living in Kenya — and in the case of mom Kathy and sister Amy — London after a family divorce.
One of the joys of my life is that I am now connected to the Eldon family. Yesterday Amy Eldon reached out about the video above — the Creative Visions Foundation’s participation in My LA2050, a program to award grants to many activists dedicated to using their talents to creating a better Los Angeles and to connect Latinos with activist people worldwide.
From Kibera and the Omo Valley to Philadelphia and LA
My digging around the Internet whenever I write a story has uncovered so many facts about Dan’s and my connections. A few weeks ago I learned that Dan Lived less than a mile from the Kibera slum in Nairobi. I’ve been writing about Kibera for several years, inspired by JR’s Women Are Heroes project.
Without knowing about Dan’s connection to Kibera — although I did know that he grew up in Kenya — I made a policy decision about our GlamTribale jewelry that as many beads as possible would come from Kenya and specifically the Nairobi/Kibera region.
Today, not only have I located many beads from Kibera, but my own project to donate 5% ouf our GlamTribale revenues to girls in Kibera is no longer a dream, but on the move. It is appropriate that I — of all people with my Victoria’s Secret background — join the drive to supply young women with sanitary pads. Not having access to them is a huge reason why girls drop out of school — and miss an average of four days of school each month.
This is but one example of the links among Dan, Kathy, Amy and myself.
In choosing to pursue an understanding of the Omo Valley people as a source of design inspiration, I came in immediate contact with the work of the famous Leakey family, the paleoanthropologists who established the Omo Valley as the earliest source of human life, living in the Lake Turkana region.
When it comes to the Eldons and my psychic connections to Dan, I’ve learned to assume there are links.
Googling Dan’s connection to the Leakey family, I discovered that Louis Leakey’s granddaughter Lara was one of of Dan Eldon’s best friends.
Why? Writing Tuesday’s piece on entering the Omo Valley and the heart of consciousness, Eldon style, I learned that Dan’s mom Kathy worked for the Louis Leakey himself. That was a stunning discovery for me!
This minute I’m laughing, because I’m about to speak about Dan Eldon’s marvelous machine Desiree, the Land Rover he drove all over Africa. We meet her in this great video below. Along the way to sharing Desiree’s key statistics, I note that Dan and my brother share a birthday: September 18.
The greatest way that we remember Dan is through his incredible journals. I’ve featured video clips about Dan before, but this one is captivating as we engage with Dan’s and Desiree’s spirits on the road of life.
Many of us are devoted to channeling Dan’s spirit and advancing his values of life engagement every day of our lives. Please support the Creative Visions CAP (Creative Activist Program) project by voting today. We only have until April 17.
Know also that I try to walk Dan’s talk every day of my life now. And when I watch this video below, Dan Eldon totally comes alive in my heart and mind. There is so much more to this story — my story — and it continues to unfold in the story of Dan Eldon.
Several of the articles referenced in this thought piece are posted below. Sending love. ~ Anne
Ensconced in Southern Ethiopia, entering Omo Valley is akin to going back in time to visit an authentic untouched Africa. Ethiopia is unique in that it is the only nation in Africa that was never colonized. Omo Valley is home to a number of tribes that have been thriving in an ecosystem of their own. Shielded from the eyes of the Western world, the Omo Valley tribes have held on to the standards of their ancient culture and tradition. These nomadic tribes have undergone many changes in the recent years, owing largely to the entrance of photographers, authors, and milling tourists into what used to be an untouched part of Africa.
Marilyn Jones writes about the days after Kathy’s divorce from husband Mike Eldon: “Kathy Eldon and her daughter Amy returned to London broke and depressed.” After a period of prayer and reflection, Kathy awoke one morning, announcing “I had a dream I should start a company called Creative Visions.“
Soon she found herself sitting with Harry Percy, the Duke of Northumberland, in Syon House, “one of the most stately houses in Britain… . Together, her production company and the duke’s went on to coproduce “Lost in Africa,” a feature film about elephant poaching.”
And then Dan died in July 1993, stoned by a mob in Mogadishu, Somalia while on assignment for Reuters. He was getting out of Mogadishu that very day.
GlamTribale Takes Muse Dan Eldon To Lancaster Artisan Market GlamTribale on AOC
No one has influenced the spirit and conscience of AOC more than Dan Eldon, the young photojournalist who was covering the famine and unrest in Somalia in 1993 and was killed when an enraged crowd turned against Dan and three other western journalists, killing him in a brutal attack.
Before dying at age 22, Dan had already published a book, directed a short film, worked as a graphic designer for Mademoiselle Magazine, and published 17 extraordinarily powerful volumes of art work.
I’ve written about this extraordinary person, dreamed about him and had the emotional, visceral experience of seeing Dan’s original journals and collages the last day they were on exhibit in Tribeca New York. Waking at 3am several years I Googled ‘Dan Eldon’ in the middle of the night for no ostensible reason, discovering that his works were a few blocks away from my apartment and leaving in hours.