Off to Neuras
Trip Start Jun 15, 2013
33Trip End Jul 17, 2013
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I did manage to find time to grab a jelly covered piece of bread before loading onto the van.
Then we drove a good three hours to a place where we met the Neuras workers. There we switched the returning people vehicles. Bradley and a few of my other compadres from the farm were among those exchanged, and Bradley and I shared our experiences over the past week.
There wasn't enough room in the car for everyone, so I volunteered to ride in the back of the truck. Another girl, an Australian named Fiona, kindly hopped in as well to keep me company, not out of necessity. When offered the front seat of the truck, she turned it down. It was a forty minute drive into the mountains and it was nice having her company. We chatted the whole way. She had arrived at the farm the night before I left for the clinic, so I hadn't even met her until today.
We found out that there aren't enough rooms for all of us. And my name got drawn out of the hat to spend half of my stay in a tent (funny how quickly everyone forgets that you volunteered to ride in the back of a truck when no one else wanted to). At least the tents have beds and aren't awful by any means. We are also further south and it is quite a bit warmer here.
We had lunch, which consisted of a roll, meat, and cheese with a fantastic egg salad. Then we were allowed a good three hours to get settled. I showered as I hadn't since yesterday morning and my hair was awful after the open air ride through the mountains. Then I wandered back to the dining area, which seems to be the commons. There are currently three Matts at Neuras... Matt who is employed, Matt who is a student studying conservation from Duke University doing camera trap research, and Matt that volunteers and roomed with Chris and Bradley (Chris is also here). Matt that is employed drove the truck I rode in. Research Matt kept Brittany and I company while we waited for 4:30 to roll around (up designated meet up time). He let us go through camera trap photos he was working on and count them on excel. We had to put the date, time, camera number, photo range, photo number of image showing the most of the species, species, number of most in photo, and number of male and female if kudu of ostrich for each group of animals that set off the camera traps. It might not seem too difficult, but when this means attempting to count up to 25 springbok around a waterhole, it gets a bit complicated. Even five zebra can be hard to spot. Also consider that pictures are taken in bursts of 4 and between each series of photos there is only a 30 second reset period. This means it wasn't unusual for us to have 200 photos of the same group of springbok. Unfortunately, in the bunch of pictures we sorted out, we didn't see leopard or cheetah.
Then we returned for dinner which consisted of a ground beef and cheese dish, rice with raisins, and coleslaw.
Everyone picked out a movie and we began to watch Anchorman. It's a bit different only having 13 total people on the property (plus the bushmen) than having 30-50 (plus the bushmen).
I think I will really enjoy my stay here. The people are lovely, the place is lovely, I'm sure the wine is lovely.
I did mess up and give everyone an emergency number (my Namibian cell number) and told them they could reach me there... I forgot that Neuras has no service... Oops.
As for now, I'm off to bed. Tomorrow I have to write that midterm paper for the credits I'm getting for this trip. It may or may not be due on Monday... Procrastination at its best.