When one door closes, another opens, and so with the departure of Team 1, Team 2 has landed. The jet-lagged group of volunteers, who are students at the Los Angeles Zoo Magnet School and interns at the LA Zoo, arrived at Kivuli Camp on Sunday evening. Though they were weary from days of travel, excitement still shone in their eyes, and after a glass of passion fruit juice, they all felt rejuvenated.
Monday was filled with orientation, during which the volunteers were introduced to the project and the area it encompasses. After a morning and afternoon of learning, the scientists, myself, and Team 2 all left for a game drive en route to a hike at Lokidori Hill. Elephant and cheetah were among those spotted (though one was spotted more than the other), lifting our spirits even higher.
Upon our arrival at Lokidori, we enjoyed the always breath-taking Kenya sunset, momentarily distracted by any tiredness we might be feeling from the long day. Soon we retired back to camp for a feast of a dinner, which was punctuated by the presence of a walking stick bug, and off to bed we went.
Much like a game vehicle’s few-minute-old trail in the bush, the dust is beginning to settle, while familiarity with the environment and with each other grows. Meanwhile, our enthusiasm for the project is as abundant as the dik-dik – we can’t see it dwindling any time soon.