Tuesday, September 25, 2012


This is one of the local children, Teddy. She is very social and loves hanging around us and playing with us when we walk past her house and go into town.

Another week has flown by in Africa!

Tuesday-Saturday we had classes, classes, classes. We are learning A LOT of Swahili and a lot about Tanzania policy. As well as different field study practices that can be used in ecological research.
Sunday we had a day off and went into the town of Mto Wa Mbu, which has a large market where we could buy souvenirs and jewelry. There were a lot of little shops and as you walk down the path in between them, the men working in the shops are all trying to welcome you to come into their shop instead of the one next door. I got to practice my bargaining skills as it is expected here that you don’t buy anything for the original price that they tell you. This can get really overwhelming, but it is exciting when you get something for the price that you are fighting for. Then we went to a pizza shop and got some yummy pizza!

That day, the power was shut off in the whole country of Tanzania because energy is supplied by a dam which is running low right now. So the government just randomly shuts the power off whenever it needs to be. What I thought was so surprising is that everything still runs smoothly when this happens and everyone is so used to this. If the power was shut off in Oregon for a day, people would be so mad! But here, it is totally normal.

Today we went on a safari at Tarangire National Park, which is over 2000 km2. There were sooo many animals here! We mainly saw elephants, zebras, wildebeests, impalas, giraffes and warthogs. Our car also got to see 4 lions that we needed binoculars just to see. Our driver, Nina, saw them sitting under a tree where we would never have seen them otherwise.  After the safari, we stopped at the lion research station where our program director, Dr. Kissui, has worked for almost 10 years studying the prides of lions in the national park.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Week One

I have been at the Moyo Hill center for a week now and I have already done so much! We started classes and already have a few assignments, but they involve going on safaris and observing animals so I can’t complain at all.

Monday- Friday consisted of classes and getting to know the area, center and other students.  We are already learning a lot of Swahili and can talk to the local people a little bit.
We have been able to walk around Rhotia a lot and see many locals. When the children saw us, they ran over and asked to get their pictures taken. They even liked to take pictures of each other and look at those. They are all so sweet!

Saturday and Sunday we went to Lake Manyara National Park and that was amazing! The first day we drove around and I was working on two assignments: A list of 10 mammals for my Wildlife Management class and gathering research for 2 research papers for my Wildlife Ecology class. We drove through a cool woodland area with pretty streams and incredible trees that seemed a little like a rain forest. Through the woodland, we saw a few elephants, lots of baboons, blue monkeys, vervet monkeys and some cool birds. And I even got to see my favorite bird, the Kingfisher. Then we stopped at a hippo pool, but we didn’t see any hippos on Saturday. Finally we drove closer to the lake, which is a salt lake and is covered by thousands of flamingos. That is when we saw zebras, cape buffalo, wildebeests, and giraffes.
On Sunday we drove through the same woodland, but our assignment was to watch baboons for 2 hours and record what they were doing every 5 minutes. It is really interesting to watch how social they are. And the baby baboons are soo cute! Then we went to the hippo pool again and saw the hippos relaxing in the sun next to the water, they are so big!
Then today, we went on a hike to Elephant Cave and saw where the elephants dig caves into a hill with their tusks so that they can eat the soil that is packed with nutrients including Iron and Potassium. After the hike we went to a market in Karatu and got to bargain for some souvenirs.

African sunset

A glimpse of the beautiful sunset from right outside the Moyo Hill camp:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

3 days!

The purpose of this blog is to keep track of the countless memories and activities that I expect to happen during the next three months and share them with friends and family. I don't typically keep journals of the things I do, so I'm completely new to this. Here goes nothing...

As I get closer to my departure, I am getting more and more excited to start this adventure of a lifetime in a whole new place. I have had a great summer filled with lots of fun and new friends that just flew by and now I can't wait for something completely new and different from anything that I have ever done. I am also soaking in as much of home while I still can. Right now, I am struggling to grasp the fact that I will be leaving the country in less than three days now. Since I have never been out of the continent, this will be a wild experience for me!

Here's a summary of what I will be doing while I'm away: I will be taking four classes while I'm in Tanzania: Techniques of wildlife Management, Wildlife Ecology, Environmental Policy and socioeconomic values, and Intro to Swahili and East African Tribal Communities. And then perform a related research project in Kenya. We will be given questions to choose from and base our research project on that are related to what we learned in the classes. We will also go on safaris and excursions throughout the semester.

Email is the best way to keep in touch, but if you want to send a letter, my address will be:

Student Name
SFS Center for Wildlife Management Studies 
P.O. Box 304
East Africa

and my email address is dgoodrich17@yahoo.com