By Rebecca & Elizabeth
Hello beautiful family and friends,
We write to you from the depths of Tanzania in a small town known as Iringa. The air smells of eggs and french fries. We are sitting at an internet cafe in the post office, reflecting on our past week at Wildlife Connection.
On Monday we arrived at our campsite that was situated just 20 minutes away from Ruaha National Park. Luckily, your bloggers for this week, the majestic Ellie and superb Rebecca, got to share a tent for the week so we had plenty of time to write our update.
Our first day at Wildlife Connection was spent building roofs for beehives. Save the Bees! These roofs are now being used to shade the beehives that make up the fence around a village near our campsite. This village gets raided by elephants up to 200 times per year- decimating their crops. This creates tension between the farmers and their elephant neighbors- adding to the poaching problem in this part of Tanzania. The beehive fences are used to keep those pesky elephants out of the crops without harming the animals themselves. This then lowers the rate of elephant murders and makes everybody happy. AREN’T SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIPS AMAZING!?!?!?
Please excuse our tone- we are slightly delirious from travel and not showering for quite some time now.
After the beehive fences we went to a local school. There we taught a group of students about conservation efforts in America. Lily lead our lesson, and Ellie B, Eli, Rebecca, Frederick, Eve, and Ben told stories of saving animals and plants in their home states. We heard about everything from vernal pools to beach cleanups! The students rewarded us with a wonderful song. Thanks to Fredericki for translating- our Swahili has not yet reached maximum potential.
Now the moment you’ve all been waiting for………
We woke up at the crack of dawn on Thursday morning to begin our adventure into the untamed bush land. Within a few short hours of being in the park we were blessed by the gods. A leopard. Alive. In the flesh. In a giant tree. A baobab tree. Given that there are roughly 100 leopards in this park of 20,000 square kilometers, we were incredibly lucky. After that amazing moment, we went on to see so many more amazing animals. We saw lions, kudu, impala, hippos, crocodiles, elephants, zebras, giraffe, and much more. It was a day full of excitement and joy.
Overall our week with wildlife was one of our best weeks so far (in the minds of your bloggers). Our time here is speeding along so we are trying to enjoy every moment! Tune in next week for Rebecca and Ben’s reflection on the Mufindi Children’s Home!
Peace Out Girl Scout