Once getting to camp, the staff instantly welcomed us to our new home, and that’s what SFS-Kenya has been so far, a home.
When the SFS-Kenya staff first pointed out Mt. Kilimanjaro, I for sure thought it was a cloud. The awe and wonder of this place amazes me, making me feel as though I have been here for years and for seconds all at the same time.
On the first day, four of us were picked up from the airport, and we made the four-hour journey to SFS’s KBC, Kilimanjaro Biodiversity Camp. Along the way, we saw giraffes, ostrich, zebra, gazelle, and plenty of cows and goats. Once getting to camp, the staff instantly welcomed us to our new home, and that’s what SFS-Kenya has been so far, a home. The next day, the two others joined us from the airport. Our cohort is pretty small this session, 6 of us in total, but we have already become a family. Days consist of classes, delicious meals, playing either soccer or volleyball in the evening with the staff, and then playing a board game after dinner and homework. Throughout these activities, we are encountered with wildlife around camp: vervet monkeys, bush bucks, guinea fowl, dik-diks, bats, kingfishers, ibises, and mongoose. It’s been pure bliss. In terms of cultural activities, we have been to a Maasai boma and danced with Maasai warriors, all within the first week! Tomorrow, we will be going into the Kimana wildlife sanctuary to study the social behavior of yellow baboons, how crazy is that?
As the students get to know one another and the staff better, it remains clear that this experience will shape us all, whether that be interacting with the communities who have not experienced rain since last year, learning wildlife ecology both in the classroom and the field, or getting to know, when resources are dwindled, how communities and nature can co-exist with one another. In a world exposed more and more to climate change, this co-existence remains imperative to the survival of us all, and there’s no better place to study it than SFS-Kenya!
Curious about the SFS Kenya Center? Click here to read about why we’re based there, our environmental research focus, how we support the local community, and even take a tour of the Center.
Photo by Suzanna Schofied: Wildlife Ecology Field Lecture at Isinet.
Photo by Martin Deya: Students and Staff visiting Maasai Boma
Photo by Suzanna Schofield: Students on a sunset walk to the platform outside the KBC
Photo by Suzanna Schofied: Students playing football with the staff at KBC.