Move number three since I have been in South Africa complete. Have I mentioned how much I HATE moving? This house is absolutely incredible though, minus no WiFi and bad phone service, but it is definitely a trade off. Ryno and I went on a 5k run and hike afterwards of our new “backyard.” It feels so amazing to be surrounded by nature and to be reminded of how beautiful Cape Town’s wilderness is. Though I am not sure how long I will be in this house for, I just cannot wait to find somewhere to actually settle into and not have to keep moving every month.
Ryno is getting HUGE! He has gone into his monster, “terrible twos” stage now. We have now added “paw” to his list of skills/tricks. Paw is most definitely his favourite though, he gets so excited when you ask him for it. He walks wonderful both on and off leash. I think moving to Newlands Forest is really good for him, it’s a great way to work on our off leash skills, get some good exercise in and play with all the other dogs out hiking about the forest.
My new roommates have two dogs a Boston terrier named Max and a little chihuahua mix named Minnie. Minnie is already over Ryno’s puppy antics and Max wants nothing more than to chase and hump Ryno all day. Hopefully (fingers crossed) those dynamics change and it all works out. Only time will tell. Having him makes all the difference for me though, my hikes and just daily life is so much better knowing that I have him to join in on everything with me. He absolutely adores Gareth too! Things are finally starting to fall into place in my life.
Well, most things. I am still struggling with the whole visa process, but have a couple options that I am pursuing right now. Currently though, it looks like I will be back in the States just after Thanksgiving for anywhere from a couple of weeks up to a month or two. I will try to make plans to see everyone, but it all depends on how long I am around for. My new nephew will be born by then and I cannot wait to meet him! It is so weird to not be apart of my sister’s baby shower or to know that I won’t be able to be at the hospital when he is born. Thank goodness for the internet and all the millions of ways to stay in touch. I would be absolutely lost without being able to chat with Becca or Andrew on a daily basis.
Work is going really well. This week I have been going through images of leopards and identifying individuals based on spot patterns. This allows us to get a census population count as well as track the overall movements and health quality of individuals. I have fallen in love with one male in particular and think he is absolutely stunning! I get excited everytime a photo comes up of him. It is a lot of fun to track these guys. I will be heading to my field sites in about a month or so and then will be spending around 6-7 weeks out working in the bush setting up my own camera survey. Of course I am really excited to see more of the country and to spend time in the bush again. I really do have the best of both worlds here with Panthera.
Basically, I just wanted to update yall on all that is happening and let you know that life is good. 🙂
Have a wonderful day!