Over the river and through the woods, to the bush we go!

Sorry I haven’t written in a while everyone, but things have become more hectic then ever. So long story short my parents left and I was finally moved into school. I had my own room and already got blessed with some amazing roommates from all over the world. As soon as I get all unpacked and start making friends my professor informs me that I am traveling to the field site for 10 days. Though it was a huge pain packing everything up again and saying goodbye to friends I just made, I knew I would be back super soon. Plus, I was finally going into the field and was getting the chance of a lifetime to work with elephants. So I was just a bundle of nerves and excitement, not really knowing at all what to expect.

So to give you guys an idea of what I was expecting, I brought a tent and a sleeping bag because I thought I would be living outside. Well turns out that “the bush” has mush more civilization than most would guess. After a long 6 hour drive, my professor and I made it to the Kapama Game Reserve, where the lodge I would be conducting my research at was located. A big safari truck comes winding down the road and the ranger offers us a lift up to the lodge. My professor insists that I get in and he will follow behind; “Consider it your christening into the bush”. So here we go trekking it down this sandy path, with wild animals all around us and the wind blowing in my hair and it’s like an absolute dream. But then this GIANT insect comes screaming into my face and hits me at warp speed smack in the middle of my forehead. So I’m trying to keep quiet and pay attention to the ranger whose showing me all of this amazing wildlife, but I can barely concentrate because I was internally screaming the entire time as one insect after another hit and began to crawl over me. We make it to the lodge finally and I am excited to wash all of the dead bug parts off of my face before my big meeting with the head of the camp. At the meeting we go over my research plan and whats doable and what is not. After some talking for a while we all come to a consensus and I am crazy excited to start conducting my research. Oh, but those 10 days? Yeah that turned into 2 and a half months…

I have been in the bush a week now and I am still alive. Insects are everywhere, but you learn to become one with them after the first few days. I fall asleep to the sound of squirrels trying to chew through my roof and Red Romans crawling through my door jam. I run into the bush daily chasing after elephants and recording their every move. I have a pet gecko I have named Finn that lives in my room and eats all of the mosquitoes for me. Lions occasionally walk and call by my front door in the middle of the night. Oh, and I cant recall a time in my life that I’ve been this happy 🙂

Oh and for those of you wondering, this is what a Red Roman is…

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Yeah… its technically an ant… oh and the best part about them? They run at the speed of lighting, defy gravity and they cut pieces of your hair off in the middle of the night to make their nests. Sick right?

 

3 thoughts on “Over the river and through the woods, to the bush we go!

  1. What an incredible experience your having Chloe, something most of us will never get to experience. All the beauty around us, including the bugs! Although like your mom to many of those for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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