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

Friday, January 10, 2014

A glimpse into the life of Dr. Lucy King

7:13 AM Posted by Tara Easter No comments
There is no such thing as a schedule in Kenya. You can make a plan for the next day and even have back-ups for your "what if" scenarios, but it's all useless.

Carley and I returned to Mwakoma after our Christmas break, excited to take on the challenge of project management in the absence of Lucy. On the day of arrival, we thought all we had to do was have a quick meeting with our fundi, Nzumu, to discuss the next two days' work, and surely we'd have camp set up well before dark. Of course, that's not what really happened. Our driver needed more money for his bus fare back to Nairobi which we didn't have to give. Chief Alex wanted to share mingi (many) stories. And silly us, we had to have known that we would need to buy more materials for the construction immediately before the stores closed through the rest of the weekend (nothing is open on Sundays)!  Duh.

Add in the typical "faff time" in Voi and it wasn't until 8:30 when we had finished setting up our tents that night. We had fried eggs and PB&Js for dinner.

I'll admit, I've held some grudges over the lack of time allotment for showers and food and those basic needs in the past, but after being the only on-site supervisor having to solve all the problems, including bandaging sliced fingers and running back to Voi for forgotten supplies, I will never be upset over a short day turned long again unless it was my fault. One day, Nzumu even had to come tell me (the one who gets angry when she's hungry) that it was time for lunch.

To get things done in Kenya, I've learned that I just have to roll with the punches and keep on keeping on. You may get a call at 8:00 at night saying a truck with our bricks that was supposed to arrive two days ago is on its way now, only to find out at 1 am that, in fact, they are not coming, again. But that's just how it goes sometimes.

On the bright side, the hard part is over. We are all moved into our amazing site, and official research on the elephants and bees project has begun!


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