Who is Al Paterson?
The heart and soul behind The Quest for Hope.
In spite of spending years living abroad in exotic locales like Aspen, Colorado and Hanalei, Kauai, Al is an African through and through. Born in South Africa, and raised and schooled in Zambia and Zimbabwe, his love of all things wild dates back to his earliest days hiking through the veld with his dog Tanto, riding his bike along well trodden bush paths and going on cross country camping trips to Kariba and to climb Kilimanjaro. It instilled in him a passion for wildlife conservation that continued unabated as he pursued his ambition to work and surf his way around the world. (View TESTIMONIALS here)
Not surprisingly his travels led him to Kauai where he would spend twenty years in what he still calls one of the most beautiful places on the planet. He became one of Hawaii’s most successful realtors with a long list of celebrity clients so much so he became known as the Realtor of the Stars.
However Africa continued to call him home and so he returned multiple times to explore different wilderness areas. Horse back riding safaris in Kenya and the Okavango Delta in Botswana, another successful summit of Kilimanjaro, and safaris in the Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Hwange, Kruger and several others fueled his desire to help wildlife conservation efforts battling the growing scourge of wide spread poaching. By now a very successful speaker based in Bend, Oregon, Al used the pulpit to spread the message that Africa’s wildlife desperately needed the help of the international community.
As he did so it was increasingly obvious to him that he needed to be doing more to help combat poaching, both working with existing organizations operating on the front lines and visiting many more to see firsthand what they were doing to win this critical war. The challenge he faced was determining who was doing the best work, making the biggest difference, and needed the most help. He discovered there are literally hundreds of NGO’s operating in Africa, some with large budgets and endowments, and others barely scraping by. Some are doing incredible work worthy of all the support they can muster. Others spend way too much on their bureaucracy with very little to show for their efforts. Determining who is doing the best work and deserves the most support became Al’s first priority and hence “The Quest For Hope” was born.
A multi country tour around Southern Africa in his custom 4X4 camper (christened Assegai after the slender spear favored by the Zulus,) will let Al determine first hand who he feels warrants the most support. His quest starts the last week in January 2017 and will last several months. Whenever possible he’ll be posting his thoughts and pictures to this site so stay tuned for updates. And if you would like to help support Al in this quest, please click on the Contribute button for more information.