Ready to be Home
Trip Start Jun 15, 2013
33Trip End Jul 17, 2013
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Where I stayed
What I did
Last night was my first night in the tent. Not bad, I wasn’t cold at all, everything was fine. Did wake up a couple of times when I heard some animals marching around right outside of the tent (turns out it was just cattle). Maria woke up and headed to the dunes (the trip I did Tuesday) around 5:00 this morning. I got up and had breakfast around 7:30. Duke Matt took us out to set up camera traps for the second half of his research endeavor. We drove for about four hours and stopped for three 20 minutes sessions of setting up cameras, taking pictures with the cameras to make sure the angle was appropriate, etc. Noodle joined us. I provided assistance by recording certain attributes of the land (what percentage was grass, bush, shrub, barren, trees, etc., as well as the coordinates of the location). We did see leopard tracks (a total of 6 different trails, probably from 2-4 different leopards) and leopard scat. That was quite incredible, knowing that we were walking along side of a regular trail for leopards, Africa’s most B.A. predators (yup, they even top lions folks).
We got back and had lunch, which was game sausage with some onion and tomato sauce over them. I’ve learned that I don’t like game sausage… at all. But this was better than the sausage I had at the farm over a week ago at least.
Then we set off to do our "enrichment" project. Because the guys had participated in making Ollie the Octopus yesterday, it was just Beth, Pia, Ali, and me to work on the thing that we will stuff meat into tomorrow and feed to the cheetahs and Solitaire. We decided that we would create a cheetah and name it Obama (in honor of Independence Day). It was quite a good time painting and cutting out cardboard.
When we had cleaned everything up, we all went in for supper. It was some form of vegetable soup and was quite thick (almost like a squash soup… but it wasn’t squash). It was good, but I couldn’t handle the texture much.
I then went straight to bed, which is where I am now (it’s only 19:00). Normally I hang around until they at least start a movie and then I head to bed to journal, but I just am not feeling anything today. It’s safe to say I’m incredibly homesick. I was talking about home earlier and almost started crying. I’m not sure why exactly… I’m assuming it’s because I know everyone is getting ready to celebrate tonight back home, and I’m stuck in Africa spending the night in a cold tent (it’s drastically colder tonight than last night) with the company of a Kit-Kat and a bottle of Savanna Dry. I really would do about anything to just end the trip now and come home.
It doesn’t help that it keeps getting more and more clear that I have no clue what I’m going to do with my life. I can’t live here. It won’t happen. I’m scared to an irrational degree of absolutely everything here. The disorganization that seems consistent throughout the entire continent drives me up the wall. And, on a less serious note, Spotify isn’t accessible here (even with internet connection).
I feel so ridiculous, sitting in this tent, crying and wishing I could play guitar and be home with everyone I love when this was my “trip of a lifetime”. Hopefully some more reading and a good night’s rest will be the remedy.
What I’ve learned today: I’m not Africa tough, and, honestly, I don’t care to be.