As the week draws to a close, it’s fun to look back on the things we did. On Monday, we found out our Directed Research groups and we started to get situated for the week’s fieldwork. Our non-program day was on Tuesday, and we spent the morning on a walking safari through the KimanaWildlife Sanctuary. We saw large groups of elephants, giraffes, impala, zebra, wildebeest, and lots of gazelles. Although it was a lot of walking, it was great to be able to see the animals on foot instead of from the cars. In the afternoon most of the group went to an HIV/AIDS clinic to learn how to bead jewelry. Little did we know that creating these necklaces and bracelets were so difficult. It gave us a much better perspective on the jewelry we buy at the market from Maasai mamas.
Wednesday marked the start of Directed Research and we began getting organized and preparing for our upcoming fieldwork. The first full day in the field was Friday, which was exciting yet exhausting. For Wildlife Management we are doing research within the Kilitome Wildlife Sanctuary, and we spent our time mapping the sanctuary of different vegetation types using point-centered quadrats.
If everything continues on schedule, Sunday we will gather research on plant-herbivore interactions, animal body condition, and overall animal count. Once all the data is collected from the Kilitome Wildlife Sanctuary, we will move onto another sanctuary and repeat our data collection there. We’ve had an incredible time in Kenya and I can’t believe our semester in Africa is ending so soon!