Monday, August 10, 2015

The Other, Other New Kid

Hi there everyone! I’m Emily, yet another new RA on the project for the upcoming year, staying in Serena Camp. And goodness, does it still feel surreal. After year of planning and preparing, waking up every morning to a view of the Masai Mara and falling asleep to the sounds of elephants and whooping hyenas feels both unreal and exhilarating at the same time.

A little background on me: I hail from Herndon, Virginia, a large town right outside of Washington, D.C. I have two cats, a dog, and the most amazing, supportive friends and family. I am an avid reader, love to travel, enjoy dance and the performing arts, and have an unhealthy relationship with Netflix. As for my education, I graduated in May with a B.S. in Wildlife Conservation from Virginia Tech. Academically, I’m interested in endangered species conservation, field research, and the intersection of science and policy. As for my future plans, I’d venture to guess field jobs, grad school, and traveling will all be happening some way or another. For now, I’m diving headfirst into everything hyena and cannot wait to learn what these incredible animals have to teach me!

As for my time here so far, it’s been about a month – a truly spectacular month. As if being here in the Mara surrounded by some of the most breathtaking animals on the planet wasn’t enough, in my first two weeks I saw rhinos, a serval, a massive carcass session with the North Clan, and 3 male lions chase hyenas off said carcass. I was also able to participate in a full darting with Tracey, which was a great chance to get up close and personal with a hyena. Plus, not breaking the cars while learning to drive was certainly an added bonus.

I am so very lucky to call this magnificent place home for the next year. I look forward to getting to know the Serena hyenas, mastering this challenging job, and enjoying this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Thanks for reading, and I can’t wait to share more stories with you soon!

On a recent hike back in Virginia - realizing my need for some Mara selfies!

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