By Sarah Jacobson
Wildlife Management Studies, Kenya
Hello from Kilimanjaro Bush Camp! I’m so happy to be settling in here in Kenya. Already I have seen and experienced so much. On the drive from Nairobi we could see giraffes in the distance from the highway. We have already been into a nearby town, Kimana, and seen the culture of the local people. The little kids in their school uniforms flocked to us and giggled as Maasai women tried to sell us their beautiful beaded jewelry.
The transition has not been as difficult as I thought even though so much is different here. I have moved from the Missouri winter to hot and sunny weather, from only hearing English to being surrounded by Swahili, and from squirrels running around outside to baboons in the yard. Yet, the friendly staff and fellow students make me feel right at home. We go to bed under a sky full of bright stars and wake up early to the sounds of baboons fighting. Looking out the windows of our banda, Kilimanjaro rises above the trees until the afternoon clouds hide it. I don’t think I will ever get used to its magnificent presence.
Classes began today with an introduction to Swahili and an overview of the wildlife management issues of the area. I can’t wait to learn enough Swahili to be able to communicate with the staff! The opportunity that we are given to experience the wildlife of East Africa and interact with the local people through this program is something that I think will truly expand my perspectives.