It is now three weeks into the spring program here at Kilimanjaro Bush Camp (KBC), the SFS field station in Kenya. The program started well with the first week of orientation to the program. Most academic activities for the past three weeks have been introductory lectures to the case study and to orient the students to the Amboseli ecosystem and its socio-ecological, socio-cultural setting. Additionally, students have participated in:
a) Field Lectures: i.e., a Wildlife Ecology field lecture/class at Isinet in Imbirikani Group ranch; and a joint Wildlife management and ecology field trip/field class to Amboseli National Park where they learned various aspects of the biodiversity in the park;
b) Field Exercises i.e., a joint Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS)/SFS animal census at the Amboseli National Park; and a participatory rural appraisal (PRA) transect walk field exercise in Isinet, Imbirikani group ranch whose aim was to analyze issues of communities living in wildlife dispersal areas within the ecosystem.
This week students are busy working on their first assignments following the activities of the past three weeks. Next week students will participate in lectures on natural resources management in the Amboseli ecosystem among others. Other major activities lined up are the field exercises in both wildlife ecology and wildlife management. Towards the end of the week they are slated for a homestay with a host family as part of the socio-cultural studies. Through this exercise, students will have a day with the host family where they will put in practice their learned Swahili and their experience with the local Maasai culture.
After a strongstart we all are looking forward for a great semester here at the Kilimanjaro Bush Camp!