Goodbyes suck.

And I have already started abandoning you, it’s been two weeks since I posted!! Sorry! I am definitely settling into life here at CCF, so things are becoming more and more routine and I don’t have too much to report on.

Well kinda.

So I have already had to experience the hardest aspect of CCF’s temporary interns, and turnover of staff – saying goodbye. Time here is way different than normal time. Time during the day can take foorrrreeevvver, then again it also flies by in the blink of an eye. I’ve been here only two months, and yet it feels like I’ve been here a year, yet at the same time it feels like just yesterday that I was working at the Pittsburgh Zoo and hanging out with my friends back home. Sound confusing? It is, I have no better way to explain it. Anyways so in that two months span I have made some absolutely incredible friends and it feels like I have spent way longer with them. I guess since we are so isolated and we work with the same people that we eat all our meals with that we also hang out with outside of work 2 months of 24/7 with the same people equals like 6 months of socialization in the “real world.” When you put it that way, it makes sense why relationships develop so strongly and deeply here much faster than back home. 10 days ago I had to say goodbye to one of the Brazilians, Ana. That was super tough. She’s been an awesome friend and we had a lot of fun together.

Then just this past weekend one of our staff members, Kaetlyn left for the US to continue her education and strive to earn her Masters. Kaetlyn is the staff member that has been training me since I arrived. She handed down her ecology work to me of going out to the “Big Field” (our reserve), and changing out the SD cards and batteries of all the camera traps, and then going through tens of thousands of photos on a weekly basis to search for specific animals and write up a weekly report. To learn this routine, we spent a lot of time together and developed a really strong friendship. Her last week here we tried to make it as awesome as we could. The group that I hang out with most often outside of work is usually Kaetlyn, Bart, Tarik, and Tamara.

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Left to right: Kaetlyn, me, Tamara, Tarik, and Bart

So the five of us had a wonderful braai out in the bush one night and then went on a night drive. We saw two aardwolves, one of them was right up close to the bakkie, we saw 5 genets which is a new species for my “seen it” list, and also another new one for me – an aardvark! It was a great night drive.

Then the next morning, Kaetlyn and I went to town for a nice breakfast and a little shopping trip.

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The cafe where we had breakfast in town

That night Otjiwarongo was having its annual Oktoberfest, so a huge group of us went to town to participate in the shenanigans of Oktoberfest and even ended up at a local club. It was great fun! (Although I was pretty sure I was dying the entire next day). Her last night, Saturday, we lit up a fire in the big stone pizza oven here at the centre and laid out a pizza bar where everyone got to fix their own pizza up and cook it just how they wanted.

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Kaetlyn said goodbye to everyone Sunday morning and headed out. Luckily the conservation world is a small one, so I know I will see her again if not in the career field, definitely for a visit! She’s going to be in California and I have not been there yet.

Sunday evening, I moved into Laurie’s house to housesit and take care of her dogs and bird, Buddy, while she is on her US tour and I will be here for one week. It’s nice because she has a proper kitchen that I can cook in and a TV too. I have already made a batch of brownies, watched three movies, and am currently spending my lunch break making a make-shift version of a German chocolate cake (we have limited options on ingredients) because today is Tamara’s birthday and we are going to have a braai at hers’ and my place tonight.

Which by the way, the house smells delightful right now as the cake is cooking away 🙂

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