Rutgers - Science Summer Abroad 2010
Nine Science Undergraduate Students Around the World

Friday, June 4, 2010

As Ready As I'll Ever Be!

As I prepare for my Saturday departure for the Nairobi National Park in Kenya, the realities of my journey begin to sink in. I will very soon not have the luxury of internet or phone access, hot water, and most other western amenities that I'm used to having. How will I manage to survive without Facebook and email? What will I do without text messaging?

OK I'll be honest, I'm ecstatic. No technology to worry about, just land cruisers and thousands of acres of one of the world's most unique wildlife habitats. Will I be scared when faced with my first wild lion? Doubtlessly. But I also cannot wait for the jaw dropping beauty of the Kenyan plains.

While at the Nairobi National Park I will be doing research on the human/wildlife conflict on lands cultivated by Maasai people but also depended upon by wildlife for migration and grazing. I will have the opportunity to make behavioral observations about various Kenyan species, as well as taking day trips into Maasai communities to speak with their people about their way of life and how animals migrating through and onto their land disrupts their way of life. I hope to be able to be a part of the solution that allows both endangered wildlife and human settlements to coexist for their mutual benefit.

I've been doing most of my packing over the past few days and although the list says I'm prepared, I can't help but think that there is no way a piece of paper is going to truly prepare me for the experience that I'm about to have. I still have no idea whether or not I will be able to take trips into the city of Nairobi in order to send out my blogs, due to the somewhat tumultuous political climate there, so that adds even more uncertainty to my trip. However, I think I'm ready for all of it, and couldn't be more excited! I hope everyone else has/is having an unbelievable sure sound like it!

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