Our studies have picked up and it has been exciting to put our new skills to use. Last week, we traveled to Amboseli National Park twice to partake in a mammal identification exercise. For many of us, including myself, it was our first time in an East African park. I could not have been more ready to pop the roofs off of our vehicles and get to work!
We immediately spotted an elephant moseying along the side of the road, and the rest of the day was abundant with animals. The impala, especially a horned male, impressed me the most. It is simply a stunning animal. On the first day, we stopped for lunch at a lookout hill. We had spectacular view of the entire landscape, but were especially happy to view an elephant herd playing in the swamps. After both days, my group was proud to finally be able to distinguish between a Grant’s and Thomson’s gazelle. Our assignments were incredibly enjoyable. I could not believe that it was all for school!
A few days later, we traveled to the Kimana Wildlife Sanctuary to learn how to identify a species based on its tracks and dung. Before heading back to camp, we were taken to a hippo pool. The hippopotami sank into the water as we neared the wetlands, but we were still able to pick out a baby amongst all of the adults!
In the days ahead, we are looking forward to spending a day with a local primary school. This program never fails to be exciting! One day we are in a national park, the next day were are having a “class” on top of a hill. When we are not in an academic setting, we are fully immersed in East African culture. I love it here and can’t wait to see what the rest of the program has in store!