With a week and a half left before I head off to Africa I figure I should probably get a blog up and out to everyone. This spring, as you can read under “what am I doing?” over on the right there, I’ll be in Tanzania studying Wildlife Management (as in elephants, giraffes, lions – safari animals, really) through the School for Field Studies. We will be looking at how tourism, the local people and conservation efforts all work together in this region and also learn techniques for studying big wildlife in the field.
It all seems a little like a dream. Until recently I actually kept forgetting I was going… “When are you heading to Africa?” people at work would ask me and I’d be a little confused, I’m doing what? Until I remembered. It’s hard to wrap my mind around. I only really know one other person going and aside from three other Dickinsonians that I’m acquainted with I don’t know any of the students in the program. It’s weird to realize that you’re going to know 40 other people really well in three months and right now you don’t even know their names.
Since I started packing, however, it feels a little more tangible and I’m finally starting to get excited. Packing itself has been a little challenging. I mean, how do you pack everything you need for four months? And I mean everything. There won’t really be any stores to go to so I need to bring all of the toothpaste, shampoo, bandaids, clothes, pens, etc. that I think I might need, knowing there’s a chance I won’t be able to get more if I run out. But pair that with the fact that I hate packing too much stuff (I definitely take after my dad, not my mom in this… love you both!) and I’m determined to fit everything in a hiking backpack and one small suitcase, well… good luck, Emily.
But this is my blog and I’ll be updating it with stories of my experiences, my thoughts and reflections, and hopefully pictures (provided the internet is good enough to upload a few) as often as possible while I’m there. I hope you enjoy it! I’ll post again closer to leaving time.
And now I wait, wait, wait. Just a little bit more!