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.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Here in Ngorogoro Crater, there are lots of animals...

October 27, 2009

Today was rather uneventful – mostly spent driving from the Yaida Valley to a campsite about 15 minutes from Ngorogoro Crater, where we will be safari-ing tomorrow. I’m very excited about going to Ngorogoro. It is very famous for being a very good place to see lions and hyenas among other creatures. I’m especially excited by the prospect of seeing hyenas – I’ve been researching them more and the more I learn about them, the more I am convinced that they are absolutely the most interesting East African animal.

But anyways, I just wanted to take the chance tonight to jot down a few quick things that I haven’t written about and don’t want to forget:

1. Kim trying to teach one of our safari guides, Killarai, American slang, like “What’s up G?”, which got the response “What is G?” “You know, gangster!” “What is gangster?”
2. Kai informing me on the truck today that with my bandana, oversized grey fleece pulled down to me knees, light colored hair and facial features that I resemble the character “Link” from the Nintendo 64 game “The Legend of Zelda”. He said this like it was a positive thing, but somehow I don’t feel so flattered being compared to a preadolescent, animated medieval elf-boy. On the plus side though, at least Link does have a cool horse, so I guess some things about the comparison are accurate at least.
3. Kai actually used the phrase “You scared the bejesus out of me.” During the twiga hunt yesterday.
4. It is a running joke around camp now that I am an abusive tent spouse due to the fact that Rachel has a very sunburned/skinned nose and a big scratch right above her eye that is turning funny colors from a whiplashing acacia branch during the hunt.
5. For Halloween, us wanifunzi have decided to draw names out of a hat and dress up as each other.
6. My video camera is working again! I tried to take it apart with Devin’s tiny pocket knife to help me undo the screws, undid part of it and blew out some of the dust, but then dropped it really hard on the ground. After picking it up, I noticed that the picture was actually clearer and decided that I couldn’t possibly make it any worse, so I closed it back up, held it in my hand and slammed it against the ground another 4 or 5 times. Now its working better than ever and even auto focusing more quickly than before it started having problems! Clearly this isn’t a good long term strategy, but I’m thrilled that it will at least be working for Ngorogoro. I was in a foul mood all last night because I thought that I would be seeing all of these fabulous animals and have no camera!
7. Everyone is getting really excited about the fact that I’ve been videoing things and people are starting to ask for copies of it. I think this is super cool, because unlike everyone else in the group I have essentially no cool and useful skills that are useful for the making and retaining of friends, so at least I can make movies!
8. I helped take down and fill in the “choo” (safari toilet) this morning. As much as people complain about it, it really isn’t a bad job – just remember not to breathe in through your nose and you are good.

To end on a more serious note, I am getting increasingly more nervous about my Maasai homestay. I know all of you at home won’t even get this entry until after Maasai homestay time, so I’m hoping you will see that I was worried about nothing!

Chakula cha jioni ni tayari! (Dinner is ready!)

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