“Mambo poa na karibuni Tanzania!” I yelled at the new SFS Tanzania students as they came out of the arrivals terminal of Kilimanjaro International Airport. Most of them were wide-eyed and looked nervous (yet contained a shimmer of excitement in their eyes) as they met the other Session I students holding SFS signs and pointing them off to the side where our SAM was waiting to round them up and load the Rhino with their suitcases.
Along with a few other students, I am continuing my experience in Tanzania by also participating in Summer Session II. After having the opportunity of being at Moyo Hill for a month, I could not wait to get back to yet another adventure with the staff and faculty after having a week off. On the way back to camp, I was busy trying to imagine what different things we would be doing this session and whether I would feel as closely bonded to everyone as I did the first time around. Upon our arrival, the usual greeting line all the way to the chumba brought back memories from last session, and the familiar “I’m home” feeling gave short reassurance that it would be another great month.
Two weeks later and it’s definitely been just as great of an experience, if not more! So far we’ve seen zebras, elephants, wildebeest, dik diks, klipspringers, lions, buffalo, giraffes, and baboons, just to name a small portion of the wildlife that’s observed whilst on mammal assessment studies in the field. Along with seeing tons of fauna, we partook in the analysis of the local flora to determine the wide spectrum of vegetation that inhabit the Tarangire-Manyara ecosystem and have learned how to identify tons of foliage along the way…and we’re only half way through the month! The group is all looking forward to our 4-night camping trip in the Serengeti in just over a week, so this program is bound to get even more exciting than it already has.
Well, tomorrow we get up early to drive to Manyara Ranch for another mammal assessment exercise and I can already hear the sounds of laughter coming from the library where we’ll be watching a movie tonight (I don’t want to miss any of it!) so I think I will leave you all with this: Usiku mwema na karibuni Moyo Hill. Can’t wait for the next two weeks!