Sunday, July 14, 2019

A birthday worth remembering

Since I was a little girl I’ve had this dream of being in East Africa. I’ve known since I was three years old that I wanted to work with wildlife and the natural world. I would watch nature documentaries with my dad and be amazed by the giraffes, wildebeests, lions, hyenas, and all the different antelope that were spread out across the plains. My dreams turned into my goals and my goals turned into my career. I’ve had a lot of wonderful birthdays in the past, last year I had to release two bears and a raccoon from bear traps in the Upper Peninsula. I’ve had birthdays spent with friends and family and some taking summer classes and working. This year was special though. This year I spent it driving around the Mara and seeing the lands I once dreamed of seeing. There are so many different species of ungulates and carnivores, there are grasses that spread out for miles, and there are some of the kindest people I’ve ever come across in this beautiful country.

I live with a great team who helped show me that even though we have to work, my birthday is still special and I can’t thank them enough for showing me one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Seeing the Great Migration roam the lands of the Mara is a bucket list I never knew I’d accomplish. Being able to see hyenas fat and bloody from a great meal is even better. Knowing that the wildlife are happy, healthy and enjoying the migration as much as I am is even sweeter. The babies are even being born throughout species and let me tell you, my heart has never been happier. I’m even starting to really know the hyenas and watching them interact is something I am grateful for.

My birthday this year has made me realize that dreams can come true and being surrounded by loving people and beautiful wildlife, is all I ever wanted in my life.

The hyenas show me everyday that relationships are important and lucky for the bond I’m forming with the team here.

Here’s to being 23 and living in the Masai Mara, the place I’ve dreamed about forever.
The beautiful Mara and all its glory!

The Sand River is behind me along with the border to Tanzania! 

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Michigan State University | College of Natural Science