December 28, 2016 9:15 pm

Louellen Coker
Jambo! and the dogs.

Let me introduce you to the newest addition to the Journey Monkey family… our 2017 Airstream International travel trailer, Jambo!

While, we have always thought it would be kinda cool to own an Airstream, it’s not been on the top of our list of things to pursue. We’re kind of accidental Airstreamers. Our journey started, quite simply, because our dog sitter of 6+ years thought it would be a good idea to graduate from high school and go off to college. (Priorities, I tell you!) Rather than trying to find someone new, we opted to try out this travel trailer thing.

We started out with a Casita, but that lasted all of one rainy weekend for us to run the Oilman 70.3 triathlon. Getting two sore adults who left everything out on the course, two triathlon bikes, two sets of triathlon gear, and two large-breed dogs into a 17-foot trailer, was a bit of a rude awakening. There is a lot to love about a Casita, but that weekend, we learned that it wasn’t quite what we were looking for. Our love affair with the Casita, though spicy, was short-lived.

It wasn’t her, it was totally us!

The next week, we found ourselves in the area of a local Airstream dealer and decided to stop in and actually take a look at the silver beauties lined up along the sales lot. Our intention, of course, was to just check things out and wait and dream and see if we would actually use the lovely little Casita that was sitting in our driveway at home. We’d thought we’d give our cute little Casita six months to a year. Besides, we only had a few minutes to look before we moved on to our next appointment of the day. We were so committed to our mission that even the Airstream salesman didn’t even take us seriously at first and kept offering us cookies that were sitting on the counter. (Granted, the latter may have been a self-defense maneuver!)

In regards to window shopping, yeah, whatever.

We did have in mind what would work for us and we asked to see what was on the lot. He walked us out to take a look at what he had available. Once we walked in, we knew. In the way that you just know. We were offered a great trade-in and, that, as they say is history.

A week later, our cute little Casita was replaced by a regal Airstream. We hope that whomever our Casita ends up with will enjoy her as much as we (did and) thought we would.

Apparently it is a “thing” to name your Airstream. There’s even a website where you go to register your chosen name. As we talked about whether we wanted to name her—we’re really not much for naming cars, but have named boats; we decided that, SHOULD we name her, the name should live up to three criteria:

  1. It needed to have something to do with monkeys.
  2. It needed to have some nod to silver.
  3. It should be welcoming.

Silver monkey didn’t seem to have the romantic appeal that we wanted, so went to the “googoogalizer” to see what we could come up with. All I have to say about that is, “Thank you, Google!” And with that 30 seconds of throwing the line out, we came up with the perfect name for our sexy new addition to our family…. Jambo!

Jambo! actually is a multi-faceted name that fits us to a T!

Jambo! The silver-backed protector

A silverback gorilla at the Jersey zoo leapt to fame in 1986 when a 6 year old Levan Merritt fell into the gorilla enclosure. Knocked unconscious from his 20-foot fall, one of the gorillas stood guard over the young boy and stroked him keeping him safe from the other gorillas in the enclosure. As Levan regained consciousness and began to cry, the gorilla was spooked and moved away from the boy allowing for a dramatic rescue. That gorilla’s name was Jambo.

Merritt later attended and cut the ribbon at the installment of a bronze statue in Jambo’s honor. Earlier this year an adult Merritt stated, “I am forever thankful to Jambo as it obviously could have gone one of two ways. It was amazing how he protected me in that way.”

We had found a name that hit two of our criteria: something to do with monkeys and a nod to silver. Being a protector was a bonus!

Jambo! The welcome

Jambo is a Swahili word that we learned when we climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. It means, hello, welcome, good-bye, pleased to meet you. Much like aloha, it is a multi dimensional word that at its essence offers good-will and camaraderie to everyone. And since that is how we feel about people, and our Kili trip was one of our favorite journeys, Jambo is perfect in that sense.

We had found her name! Within a few minutes we had discovered the perfect name for our new protectress. She will forevermore (to us at least) be known as Jambo!

Jambo! Our protectress.

Here’s to many adventures with our newest Journey Monkey!

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}