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Heather: Internship update

March 19, 2010

The internship is going well. Everyone is very nice and they keep asking me how I like the weather. I think if they just looked at how much sweat was pouring out of me, they could tell. But seriously, they’re really nice and treating me well. They speak a lot of Swahili amongst themselves, so I try to understand what they’re saying and I’m trying to use a little more of my Swahili skills as well.

Yesterday I just did some orientation stuff with the park and got to know my way around. In the afternoon I helped with some of the feedings. We did the giraffes, hippos, buffalo, and crocs. The crocs were awesome because they are all hanging out in the water and they have this line that goes across the water that they dangle meat from and the crocs jump out to get it. I will get a video of it cause it’s pretty cool.

I am going to be doing some observations and research with the animals so I will be able to get up close and personal photos as well. Taking photos is part of my job description. Life is rough. And then when the animals need treatment I get to help with that as well. One of the hippos has been having some scarring and cuts, and they wanted me to tell them what was wrong with it. Not quite that far in my studies yet!

Today I was walking in and an orxy was walking next to me and I noticed that it had a big cut on its hip, so I talked to my supervisor about it and later we found out that there was another oryx that was injured a little bit so we went to check him out too. We figured that the two got in a fight and tomorrow we’re going to get them and give them treatments. So I have to go in on a Saturday, but as long as I get to do that, it’ll be fun. Today I worked in the reptile park for a bit. We have a bunch of snakes there and I find it funny because the most dangerous one we have, a Puff Adder, (actually one of the most dangerous in Africa) isn’t kept in a cage. But he doesn’t go anywhere. He just hangs out in the rocks all day. Apparently they’re really slow moving so we would know if he tried to go somewhere.

Oh yes, and I will be switching families on Sunday. I talked to the MSID advisor and told him that I wasn’t comfortable living here because of the privacy thing. And I don’t get any sleep, at all. So I had to talk with the Mombasa advisor. She’s finding a new family, and it’s a risk I have to take because it might be worse, but I don’t think it will be. So Sunday is new family day! Tomorrow, on the other hand, is BEACH DAY. Finally!

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