As predicted the blog has gotten a little bit forgotten recently, I would love to say it’s because I have been so busy with new projects and very exciting things happening in my life. That’s not exactly the case, to be honest, I have just been settling into my new, normal life. I still kind of feel like I’m on holiday and I don’t think it has really sunk in that I’m unemployed and I’m not just waiting for term to start again.
So my day usually loosely follows the structure of wake up, a cup of tea followed by either a dog walk or a run. If I am attempting a run I have Roo on the retractable lead and Rafa on a shorter lead and harness, this makes it slightly less likely that we will trip each other up. I have decided I don’t have time to be able to run with one dog and then the other so I take both at the same time. To be fair the dogs have actually got much better, they must have gotten a bit used to the sights and smells and have settled into a routine. Most of the time they run nicely alongside me, occasionally they do still smell something and try and make a dash for it but I have a firm grip and they don’t get very far. If I’m just going for a walk then I have Rafa on the long rope so he has a bit more freedom and we are less likely to fall over the rope when walking than running. I then have my morning smoothie and then spend some time on my website and photos. My aim was to get the website up and running by the 1st of June which did and didn’t happen, technically it was ‘live’ on the 1st but it definitely wasn’t ready. It’s still not fully ready but it is live and you are able to view it. If you have a chance pop over to the galleries section and have a look at what I have been working on Prints Across Africa. There are still some things to add, mainly the part where you can physically buy the photo from the website but that will come soon, for now, you can email me directly if there is anything you are interested in. While I am at the computer the dogs are lazing around in the garden playing their new favourite game of chase the birds. I have put up a nice new bird feeder in the back garden in the nook of the acacia tree, I get leftovers from the kitchen and give them to the birds and squirrels etc. It only took 2 days of putting food out and then the birds got used to it and started coming every morning demanding their food. The problem is the dogs think it’s their food and so try to chase the birds away every time they land, the dogs run and bark at the birds and they fly away and come back again a couple of minutes later. I wonder how long it will take the birds to figure out that no matter how much they bark or run around the dogs will not be able to get the birds so they can just continue eating without worrying?!!
Apart from the website and photos, I have been looking into a few projects and been speaking to some local Non-Government Organisations, charities and schools and there are a few things in the pipeline for some things for me to be working on in the near future, so watch the space on that! I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into something and using my time a bit more productively. Don’t get me wrong its been amazing having some time to get projects done that have been sitting in the background for ages, I actually started setting up the website a year ago and it’s been sitting idle for all that time so it’s a massive achievement to finally have that up and running (even if it’s not actually finished). But it will be great to get into something new, I have always loved getting involved in community projects and development and anyone who knows me knows my love for animals so if I can get into that conservation side of things as well then that would be amazing too. I am very lucky to have this time and to live when I do, so I hope I can do something beneficial with it!
Today I visited a school just outside the conservancy. It is a local private school built out of the frustration of the limitations of the local government schools; too many children, not enough teachers, not enough resources etc you know the score. This school is in the local village surrounding the conservancy where many of the staff from the conservancy are from. It has been running for three years and so at the moment has only three classes. Next year they will have one more. The classrooms are basic but they are at least warm and dry and have all the necessities. The fourth classroom is already built ready for next year and all that is needed is some tables and chairs, they wish to expand each year until they have the full classes for primary school. Crucially class sizes are small (there are only 17 students at the moment) so students can get some more one to one attention to ensure they reach their potential. Although they are hoping for a few more children next year to bring in some more school fees to help with costs. This is exactly the kind of thing I like to get involved with and I look forward to working with them in the near future.
Afternoons I usually am able to get out for a game drive, to take more photos to add to the ever-increasing collection of pics I haven’t edited yet, or go for a stroll or play some volleyball with the staff in the beautiful surroundings of Lewa:
Another dog walk/run and then dinner. If I’m feeling sociable I will go and chat with some of the guests and have a drink with them and Charl. Occasionally the assistant manager hosts in the evening so Charl and I can spend the evening at home together.
In other news, the garden is now finished, we are now working on planting and trying to get the grass to grow as the extended part of the garden was a road before so didn’t have grass. Here is a pic of the new and improved garden:
The half marathon training is still slowly going ahead, I’m pretty sure we will end up walking most of the ‘run’ but it’s the taking part that counts! Also, the wonderful app that is ‘Doulingo‘ is back in my life, if you are trying to learn a language then you should definitely check it out. It’s a free app for your phone/tablet and it has lessons where you need to select the correct answer, or type the missing word or eventually translate the whole sentence of whatever language you are learning. It’s great for when you have 5/10 minutes to spare to do something productive with that time instead of scrolling through Instagram. I was really into it before and had a 100-day streak of doing lessons every day and then one day just gave up, I think I gave up around about the time that school started and my life got taken over by work…I don’t currently have that problem so let’s see how much my Kiswahili improves.
The house is also looking better, we now have some photos on the walls, the bedrooms are ready and set up for visitors, Roo’s escape hole in the window has been sewn up so now she is well and truly trapped! All in all, it’s going well and I am excited for some potential (covid pending) visitor in the summer!
I’m working on a few more interesting blog topics for the future, info about volunteering, info about Lewa and the impact it has on conservation, ideas for travel around East Africa, info about some of the upcoming projects etc, so hang in there if you are still managing to follow along!
To keep your interest for now here are some pretty pictures from some recent safaris 🙂