(Estimated reading time 3 minutes)

Sometimes you have to work quite hard to get what you want.

We recently took a trip to Zimbabwe. During our stay my husband found an Ironwood carving of an elephant that he loved and wanted to bring home as a memento of our trip. It reminded him of an encounter we had with quite an aggressive bull elephant in Hwange National Park the day before.

Canva Elephant

It was a beautiful carving. It was also very heavy – 35 pounds. The weight alone would have put me off, but my husband is one who sees what he wants and finds a way around the obstacles. I love this quality in him and am learning the importance of it in my own life.

Having negotiated with the vendor, they agreed that Chris would pay some of the cost for the carving in cash and the rest on his credit card. When it came time to run the credit card, the man’s credit card machine did not work. Under normal circumstances one might go to a bank and get some cash to pay the rest. We were told that Zimbabwe is a country in a cash crisis – there is limited hard currency in the banks so this option was not possible.  That is the second point at which I would probably have given up, telling myself that this was just not meant to be. Not Chris. He brought the vendor (who was carrying the elephant) back to the hotel. First he tried getting the hotel to run the credit card and give him cash to pay the carver.  They would not agree to this. Then he brought the man back to our room. He asked me for all the cash we had and in addition borrowed some South African Rand from my parents. When this was still not enough the man asked for clothes and shoes. We ended up giving him our shoes, a shirt and all the cash we had in exchange for the elephant!


Chris lugged that beautiful, 35 lb beast through many airports. He carried his weighty hand luggage from Victoria Falls to Cape Town, from Cape Town to Johannesburg and then on to Atlanta and finally to Toronto. After a lot of effort the elephant is finally home. The carving is a beautiful reminder of our trip to Zimbabwe and of the fact that getting what you want does not always come easily.

Getting what you want demands the ability to see past the obstacles to the opportunities. It requires focus, determination, creative thinking, perseverance and a willingness to do the hard work. That’s why most people don’t get what they want.

2 thoughts on “GETTING WHAT YOU WANT

  1. Not just a momento but a stunning, stunning piece of art! The life lessons learned are an added bonus. You will never look at this beautiful statue and not remember the personal contact, that moment in time, and the trials that brought it to your home.


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