Besides laying down the foundation for all future primate studies, what inspired me about Jane Goodall was her determination to live out her life long goal of working with African wildlife. Her dream becoming reality looked unfortunate when she winded up attended a secretarial school and then getting a job with a documentary film company in England. Then, unexpectedly, an old school friend invited Jane to visit her in Kenya, Africa, and eager to go, Jane worked as a waitress to save money for the fare. At twenty three, Jane made the trip that seemed to have taken a lifetime of anticipation and it was in fact the beginning of an adventure where there was no turning back.
While in Kenya, in an effort to realize her dream of studying wild animals, she contacted Dr. Louis Leakey, a renowned paleontologist and anthropologist. She made an appointment to meet him and further surprised Dr. Leakey by answering many of his questions about Africa and it's wildlife. It was when Dr. Leakey hired her as his assistant when Jane's life really began. Along with Dr. Leakey and his wife, Jane traveled to Olduvai Gorge on a fossil-hunting expedition. "I always remember the first time I held in my hand the bone of a creature that had walked the earth millions of years before. I had dug it up myself. A feeling of awe crept over me," said Jane reminiscing about this time in her life, (www.pbs.com). After three months in Olduvai Gorge, they returned to Nairobi, Kenya, and Jane worked at the museum there. Soon after their return, Jane and Dr. Leakey had several conversations about the possibility of her studying a group of chimpanzees on the shores of Lake Tanganyika and he decided that she was the unique individual he was looking for. Jane professed that she could have continued to have worked at the museum or could have become a paleontologist, but both these careers had to do with dead animals. Her childhood dream was as strong as ever saying, " I wanted to learn things that no one else knew, uncover secrets through patient observation.