I am a junior at Bowdoin College and I am spending the fall semester studying in East Africa. I am studying wildlife management and ecology with the School for Field Studies in Tanzania and Kenya. There are 28 students from all over the US and we will spend our first half of the semester in Northern Tanzania and the second half in Southeast Kenya. I hope you enjoy hearing about my experiences living and learning in this beautiful and amazing place.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Where am I?
The East Africa program run by the School for Field Studies (SFS) occurs in two locations. The Tanzania site, where I will be until the end of October, is located in the district of Karatu, which is next to the district of Arusha in northern Tanzania. Our center is called Moyo Hills after a hill we are close to (Moyo means heart in Swahili). The full name is the Center for Wildlife Management Studies and it was built this summer – in the past, SFS used a camp close by, which was shared by a tourism company. The new camp is beautiful – we live in small buildings called bandas. Each banda is split into two halves and each side has two bunk beds and a bathroom. I wasn’t expecting such nice living spaces! There is a central building called the Chumba – the dining hall and kitchen. There are bandas for the faculty and staff as well as a building for a classroom and library and for offices. We are fenced in and there is a front gate that is painted with beautiful images of African wildlife and scenery. The guards, or ascari, are extremely good and friendly. There is a school down the road and many people pass by as they walk and herd animals. There is a trail that we can use to run or walk, as long as we sign out at the gate and go while more than one person is out on the road. The road is dusty and uneven and we meet many people as we go by (We greet them with “Jambo, habari?” – “Hello, how are you?”). For a while the trail follows a line of trees that borders two fields that grow beans and corn and the other day we passed by a lone cow grazing under one of the trees. We are so lucky to be able to run in such an amazing area – you couldn’t ask for a more interesting and refreshing place. The trail is quite short, not even a mile, but we run it multiple times and each time it feels unique. Also, I think I still feel the elevation – we are at about 5,000 feet.
All right, I’ll continue to try to write about all of the exciting things here. There are so many things that we’ve done and seen that are worth talking about! Kwaheri