The recorded ramblings of an unschooled writer, aspiring biologist, amateur equestrian, ardent bookworm, avid music appreciator, increasingly addicted runner and college student spending the summer in Ely, MN.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Another day, another bus ride...

October 9, 2009

So, today is actually the tenth, but I didn’t get a chance to write yesterday and I’m currently trapped on a bus for the eight to nine hour ride from Pembe Abwe to the outskirts of Arusha, so it seemed like a good time to catch up.

Yesterday we didn’t snorkel, but instead worked on our data analysis and presentation of the reef research we are doing. Clearly none of us were actually able to collect enough to have data to find statistically significant results, even if such trends do actually exist when comparing the reefs.

Though the difference was slight and statistically nearly non existent due to the fact that Sam and I were only able to do 6 samples at one set and 7 at the other, we were able to discuss that we did see more fish at the protected versus the unprotected reef and that we saw a greater variety of species of snapper and grouper at the protected reef. Overall, “The Groruper Group”’s presentation went quite well and I’m very pleased with it.

All of the presentations w ere very well done and it was interesting to hear how my fellow wanafunzi had all seen so many different things in essentially the same place. I am so excited that I will be able to return to Pembe Abwe next month for even more snorkeling and reef study, though I’ve no idea at all what my BIO 490 (independent study) project will be.

The rest of the day wasn’t too exciting. I was feeling like I was maybe getting a touch of what the guys have bizarrely named “The Siberian Flu”, a flu/cold like virus that has been sweeping through the men’s half of camp, because I had a quite sore throat, so other than a morning run with Laila, I kept pretty quiet for the rest of the day. I did a ton of laundry and read a bunch. I read “Me Talk Pretty One Day”, which thanks to my lovely roommate from last year, Danya, I had heard some of David Sedaris’s audio recordings of, but haven’t ever actually read. It was amazing – so entertaining and sarcastic. I also read most of another Tom Robbins book “Still Life With Woodpecker” which I enjoyed more than “Jitter –

Quick interruption to explain that we were all just yelled at to “Lean Left!” because the bus ended up in ditch on the left side of a very bumpy, muddy gravel road (its raining a good bit today) and ii order to get out we had to redistribute our weight a bit. In true East African driving fashion, our driver didn’t slow down on ce during t his process.

-“bug Perfume”, but not as much as “Fierce Invalids”.

Rachel, R., Lisa, Kai, Anton, Zach and I stayed up to an ungodly hour (and by that, I mean 10:45) sitting around talking to Ken about biology and college and potential careers and international travel and life and the universe and everything (or so it felt).

I really enjoyed the conversation and it gave me a lot to think about. Ken’s biggest piece of advice to all of us was to follow our passion. I think anyone who knows me at all knows that my passion lies in something to do with animals. I’m not sure exactly what direction I want to take that in yet, but I’m feeling more like that is alright for the time being.

At this point, I think I’d love to be involved in field research of some kind. If nothing else this trip has stressed to me that I’m miserable inside and in a city for any great length of time and absolutely an entirely different and much happier person when out in nature. Despite the lack of easily accessible communication this past week, I haven’t been homesick once.

I mean, of course I wish I could see my friends and family, but in a wishing they could come and experience Pembe Abwe too sort of way, not in a wishing I was home sort of way. I think I could be really happy working in the field based on this past week’s experiences. Obviously in a real field setting, there wouldn’t be so many fun and wonderful people around me, but I think I’d be ok with that if I was so happy with what I was doing.

Well, I’ve got to stop because we’ve reached an absolutely terrifyingly large hill. Its looking like we may have to all get out and walk and send the bus up alone!


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