The post was published in Today @ Colorado State, here.

Miranda Babcock-Krenk is a senior [at Colorado State University] majoring in Zoology. She studied with The School for Field Studies in Tanzania and Kenya during the Fall 2012 semester, and was a recipient of the Office of International Programs Undergraduate Study Abroad Scholarship, which helped fund her experience.

“These past four months studying wildlife management in East Africa have taught me many things. I know how to shoot a bow and arrow, carry water on my head, and patch up a Maasai house with cow manure. I know how to distinguish wildebeest dung from cattle dung, tell if a male elephant is potentially aggressive, and how to remove snares set by poachers. I’ve learned to not settle for a marriage proposal unless it is at least 30 cows, to always chase away baboons that are trying to steal your potatoes, and that it is possible to make a real connection with someone even if you do not share the same culture, beliefs, or language. I can now untangle acacia bushes expertly, ask for directions in Swahili, and use a GPS. I’ve learned that African sunsets can take your breath away, that the glowing eyes of a hyena at night can be hauntingly beautiful, and that shared silence can be more meaningful than hours of conversation.

Most importantly, I now know that I am capable of so much more than I ever thought and that I will always keep this experience close to my heart. As the director of our program told us on our last night in Kenya: ‘Be happy, be good, and do good for others.’ This is how I want to live my life and how I hope I can continue sharing my experience with others.”

Kwa heri,