Spring Break Safari

So, the first part of my week was…well, relatively boring. By which I mean I spent Tuesday in a Ward Tribunal with no cases, so my colleagues just chatted with local community leaders (who make the decisions in the Ward Tribunal, which deals with land inheritance) informing them of the actual laws and specifications of women and children’s statutory inheritance laws in Tanzania. Wednesday was spent in a courtroom waiting for a case to be called that  my organization was helping with, not having the case be called, and coming down with an achy fever and flu in those 6 hours. Thursday was spent sleeping and being pathetically sick… and then going to Kundayo in the evening.

That’s where the fun began. All of us wanafunzi had dinner and spent the night at Kundayo (I swear, every time we get together it’s like this dramatic reunion bc we spend so much time apart due to internships this month). We then got up early-ish and headed to Tangiere National Park. We got to our “camp” (i.e. beautiful cabins that happened to have a couple of canvas walls), had lunch, and then headed out on our first safari.  We saw a bunch of elephants, warthogs, monkeys, birds, and a cheetah and her 3 babies (!!!). The next morning we headed out to the next camp and on the way saw elephants, dik diks, and giraffes.

We went to Lake Manyara National Park next, and stayed at the Serena Lodge. (I have no idea how our program afforded this.) We had a gourmet lunch and then headed out to Lake Manyara where we saw everything of the previous day in addition to Flamingos as far as the eye could see, more birds, two lionesses lounging in a tree, and baboons. We were actually warned to keep our windows closed, as baboons often tag-team people in order to steal thing in a way that is more ingenious than many human robberies/muggings I’ve heard of, and at one point our car was completely surrounded by baboons- front, back, all sides. There had to have been over 100 of them. [“And Daddy, they took my boot!”]

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two of many…

We returned to the Lodge and were sufficiently entertained with hired entertainment, an infinity pool with a breathtakingly gorgeous view, wi-fi, and of course homework. The next morning, we awoke and headed off for Ngorongoro Crater.

Ngorongoro was beautiful. We drove through hours of mountains and jungle and fog in the valleys to get there (my heart was quite happy-thick foliage and mountains are my jam). For those who don’t know, Ngorongoro crater is about 25 km in diameter and used to be a mountain but then decided it didn’t want to be a mountain anymore and so it sunk down into the surface of the earth. I think it made the right life choice, because now there is a ridiculous amount of fauna that lives on its floor.  We went to Olduvai gorge, where the oldest set of humanoid footprints were found and where scientists believe human life began.

We then went to our hotel, which was somehow even nicer than the last two hotels to have a leisurely afternoon of more homework and sleep.  The next day was our full day of safari. We left at 7 am sharp to see as many animals as possible. During the course of the day, we saw thousands of zebras and wildebeest, a bunch of hippos and even a baby hippo, a crap ton of various birds, jackals, hyenas, cape buffalo, and about a dozen lions including a nursing baby and mama right next to our car (like, our friends’ car couldn’t move because the lions were actually under the car.). Epic.

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i want one…

Today we returned to Arusha, and tomorrow we resume our internship assignments. Today I also got money for this month (finally!) and got an email from my boss at camp saying that even though we couldn’t schedule a skype interview, he’s cool with skipping the interview and just giving me the job this summer anyways. Yay employment!

As far as blog-worthy/appropriate high points, I think that covers it! There was more that happened, but if you guys want to talk, as always, contact me! Safari njema!

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