To celebrate the Animal Ambassador and TTEAM/TTouch Center of Slovenia last September, Darja and Andrej Znidarsic organized the most memorable event I have ever witnessed for the opening of Ranch. One hundred guests were invited for an evening that began and ended with the music of the 50-piece Ljubljana Symphony Orchestra conducted by Simon Dvorsak [...]
I awoke around 5 a.m. with in inspiration. In 1984 while working as a Citizen Diplomat with Esalen Soviet/American Exchange, I found that animals created connections in the former Soviet Union that brought new understanding and communication. It was at this time that I conceived of the idea of Animal Ambassadors – acknowledging animals as [...]
At 7:30 a.m. I heard people talking below our window. It was the first family come to visit on this “Day of the Open Door,” when local villagers are invited to come by and learn about the ranch and its programs. Darja and Andre have been here four years but this is the first open house they have had. Invitations were issued throughout the village and people came in small informal groups every two hours for an introduction by Andre.
For the 3rd day the stands were full with 120 in attendance for the official opening of the ranch by the mayor of Vojnika, Benjamin Podrgajs, Darja and Andre’s children, Manca and Aljaz rode in on two attractive pitch-black Lipizzaner/Arabian cross horses holding a red ribbon between them. The mayor cut the ribbon symbolizing the official opening. Simon, the conductor of the 40-piece symphony orchestra; 14-year-old Nika Lipota who danced ballet; and violinist, 15-year-old Nika Goldnik all rode into the arena on horseback to begin their presentations.