We are four days into the Directed Research (DR) portion of our semester here in East Africa. Students working with Professor Kiringe are conducting research along the Kimana-Kikarankot River to assess water quality and availability; those working with Professor Shem are creating wildlife habitat management plans for various wildlife sanctuaries in the surrounding area; and students working with Professor Were are investigating local perceptions on natural resources.

Since we arrived in Kenya on March 25, it has been nothing but a whirlwind of fieldwork, DR prep, and lots of soccer. I didn’t know what to expect after our incredible time in Tanzania, but I’ve been nothing but amazed by the beauty that Kenya has to offer. However, the magnificence of the East African landscape and wildlife doesn’t hold a candle to the warmth that the people of East Africa have shown us. The people here have made their way into my heart and as the days start to dwindle down, I can’t help but feel a sense of hesitation in saying goodbye. We are all longing for the comforts of home, but East Africa has started to feel so much like home to me that it is going to be harder to leave than most of us may think. Until then, I’ll be living life large and appreciating every single moment I have here in this beautiful part of the world.