Forward: This is a long post, but it is my hope that you will make it to the end. Getting the chance to meet someone as inspiring as Jane Goodall is an experience I could not limit to a few hundred words. And although this is a post that may not introduce to you a new species or a conservation crisis, I think that it can introduce you to hope if you will let it.
I arrived exactly one hour early. I stood and watched the meerkats outside of the Woburn Safari Park’s Safari Lodge, biding my time until the doors opened and I could find my seat. Even before seeing Jane Goodall standing a mere 10 feet from me the day was perfect. I had seen my first ever wild pheasant, which could seem silly to many people, but for me it was incredibly exciting. Even the mundane turns magical on the day you get to meet your life-long hero.
Education is key to conservation. I think that this is an incredible message worth sharing. It is what I aim to do every time I post on endangeredliving.com, our FB page or my twitter. I want to educate people and teach them about species they may never have heard of, so that they can care. You have to know something exists and that it is in trouble to be able to want it to help it. It is such a basic idea that can get over looked.
So I encourage you to share this photo, to remind people how important it is to learn every day. Keep an open mind and it can lead to a great idea that might just change the world.
A map of me; exactly what the title says. It’s where I’ve been, where I’m going and where I want to be in my career as a conservationist and budding primatologist. It’s not been easy because I feel like I”m forging ahead on this path completely alone. I am the only primatology student at my undergraduate institution and I am the first in my family to go to college. When I started this journey I knew I had to create this site for a few reasons. Firstly, my love of writing and education. Secondly? I know how hard it is to do with no possible clue on where to go next and that is a terrifying feeling. So, for any young, budding primatologists, if you want to know how I got to where I am or where I’m going, this is for you.
As the time draws closer for my first ever extended period in the field as a real-live grownup, I find my self wondering, what on earth do I bring with me? Of course as a girl I wonder what if I need to look nice? Should I bring make-up? Just in case? Maybe follow Mireya Mayor‘s lead and pack a little black dress? But then the outdoors[wo]man in me kicks in and I wonder which parts of my Wilderness First Aid training I’ll need to use… Will I have to splint a leg with branches and a sleeping bag? What about stop a gushing wound? Then I wonder if I’ll end up pulling something Bear Grylls-esc and get stranded away from my camp and have to use nothing but a knife, a lighter and the shirt off my back to survive for days on end while living on the leaves and trying to not get eaten by a lion.
Well most of this stuff probably won’t happen, but now you know what it sounds like in my head! But I was curious after reading Mireya Mayor’s book Pink Boot and a Machete about what kinds of quirky things are useful in a field situation, so I reached out. I asked the Twitterverse what their item they would never be caught without in the field was, which also morphed into, which books do you read in the field. Here are some of the great responses:
I am so excited to finally announce that I will be spending three magnificent weeks in Sierra Leon observing chimpanzees this summer. It has been a while since I published a personal post, since I have been waiting to hear back from a few different institutions regarding my future in primatology. But now that I am pumped full of excitement and vaccines, I think that it is safe to share a little bit about the Tonkolili Chimpanzee Project in the Tonkolili District of Sierra Leon in Western Africa.