Biologist, Conservationist, & Portlander. My passion lives in Africa.

Monday, December 9, 2013

So... I'm in Kenya.

10:51 AM Posted by Tara Easter No comments

It's been awhile, and for that I do apologize. Let me catch you all up.

On October 12 I went to the WCN Conservation Expo in San Francisco that I was so excited about in my previous post.

I met THE Jane Goodall. 

And Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton

Oh and they're best buds, by the way...

I told Iain that one of my best friends, Carley, was interning at Save The Elephants and that I hoped to follow her some day when I had the funds. It was a fantastically inspiring day.

A couple weeks later, having come down from my high on life from the conference, I went to Hawaii with some friends...

And I get a frantic call, post-luau, from Carley about an exciting project developing within Dr. Lucy King's elephants and bees project and that I quickly needed to apply to be a part of it. I had no time to waste, so as soon as I got home I sent her a letter, had an interview the following evening, and was booking a plane ticket for Nairobi in the next week. 

So, here I am, in Kenya! 

Here's the breakdown: 

Lucy builds beehive fences around farms to protect them from elephant crop raids because elephants are afraid of bees. She's been working outside of Tsavo National Park for awhile, and after gaining support in the community, backing from STE, and wonderful grants and donations, she is launching a new human-elephant conflict research and community center (title still to be decided on). And we (Lucy and her new team of interns) are starting from scratch. Tomorrow, we head out to Tsavo, where we will study our donated acre of land, and get to work clearing a plot and buying supplies. I cannot even begin to express my excitement for being here, and to be a part of this massive project that will lead to such positive impacts for people and elephants!

This morning I got to meet the STE team at their Monday morning meetings. As I sat there, surrounded by all these passionate, brilliant people, I thought of how lucky I am to be achieving my dreams. Unfortunately, Iain could not be at the meeting. I so wanted to say hello again.

Pssst... Internet access will be questionable throughout my stay here, but stay tuned for details about Save The Elephants, Lucy's amazing work, news from Kenya, and my experiences here!!!


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