Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Memories: Year 1, Photos, Part 1

I've already given you a recap of my first year in Botswana in words, but I thought I should also give everyone a photo recap. Here is a collabe of my first three months of work in Botswana. I know, Prince William, children and wild animals are considered work. Tough life I lead, eh?

I spent my first three months working at the Botswana Predator Conservation Trust, primarily with its social development program, Coaching for Conservation, which teaches children about the wildlife and wild animals using football skills and drills. Last year was particularly exciting as we hosted an exhibition of our program for Prince William! After a month of tireless preparation, I fell deathly ill with a stomach parasite and missed the whole event!!! I was devastated. Fortunately, coworkers and friends provided me with photos. It doesn't ease the pain but it's nice to know my hard work paid off. The day was a fantastic success and maybe, just maybe, William will come back with his new bride.

*Side note: Prince Harry is constantly in Maun. Seriously, I'm always hearing, "oh, Harry's back in town." I've only ever seen him once but it's still pretty cool. He's treated like a local here and he's not considered a celebrity sighting. Anyhow, we also organize a weeklong Coaching for Conservation camp where over four days, we host 700 primary school children at the Maun Sports Stadium. It was a lot of work and a logistical nightmare but we pulled it off!

Working for a conservation organization has its perks, especially when your bosses own a research camp on the outskirts of the Okavango Delta. I was lucky enough to visit Wild Dog Research Camp more than once and witness the beauty and sheer size of open pans and floodplains of the Botswana bush. While I accompanied some of the researchers in the field, I was lucky enough to see up close and personal a leopard (pictured above. His name is Charles), lions, elephants, a wild dog den full of newborn pups and loads of other amazing animals. The great thing about going on a game drive with researchers is that they are tracking collared animals so unlike a regular safari, we could pinpoint the exact location of the animals we wanted to see and find them. It is truly amazing.

I hope you enjoyed my little recap. More photos of the following three months are coming up soon!


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