Words can’t even describe how amazing and beautiful Tanzania is! We have only been here for two weeks but I feel like I have seen so many new and fantastic things that I usually would only be able look at in picture books. Arriving here on the plane was an adventure in itself. After traveling for what was literally days, we finally arrived at our camp and began getting to know one another, the faculty, and the staff. Everyone here in Tanzania is so welcoming and friendly, and people often try and teach us Swahili words in passing. We have all had to adjust our habits drastically here at Moyo Hill – no Internet browsing or long showers! But I think it’s helped remind me to experience where I am while I am here, which I definitely lose track of when I am at home.
In just the past week we have been to the area around and within Lake Manyara National Park four times in the SFS jeeps, and each time I have seen some absolutely amazing things. While taking field notes for our Wildlife Ecology class, we observed herds of impala, families of warthogs, giraffes, baboons, monkeys, amazing birds, and lots of elephants! I just about died when I saw the babies (they are my favorite animal!). Later in the week we went to the edge of the lake with a Maasai guide who taught us how to recognize different animal dung, and once we got to the lake we were surprised by a giant flamboyance of flamingos!
I still can’t believe that this amazing place is my classroom… I have to remind myself to crack down and work on the three scientific papers we have due next week. But if my time here so far is any indication, we are going to have a great semester!