Posted by: keepfishing | September 21, 2009

What I’m up to.

Ten days in a country that is not your own can feel a long time. In many ways so much has happened that I feel like I’ve been here for a month! Since I arrived, i’ve been catching birds, ringing birds, painting, digging up concrete, computerizing mileage reports, cataloguing educational materials, scanning documents, excavating turtle nests, beginning the repairs of a nature trail, and counting more birds. It’s pretty varied work!

However, once the dust settled from the first 5 intense days of bird ringing, we had a meeting and it was decided that my primary jobs here are to be split between the Environmental Education (EE) work of A Rocha, and the Research and Monitoring. As far as the EE work goes, I’m hopefully going to be developing and trialing a couple of marine-based lessons to complement the curriculum of 22 or so lessons already in circulation. A Rocha tends to work with some partner ‘Wildlife Clubs of Kenya (WCK)’ that are affiliated at partner schools quite a ways away, but funding is pretty low at the moment, so we’re also hoping to develop things at some of the schools closer to home. In addition, Mwamba (A Rocha Kenya’s centre and my home) is fortunate to have a pretty substantial forest as a back garden, complete with semi-derelict nature trail. Hopefully, Sam (the other volunteer) and I, will be able to resurrect it over the next 3 months as well as producing some educational material to go with it. In particular, we hope to produce some ‘creation care’ lessons that help demonstrate the biblical basis for why we’re involved in conservation.

With the Research and Monitoring work, mostly that will be field work, either ringing or counting birds, and analysis with the hope of starting to incorporate some GIS jiggery into it all. Once that kicks off a little more, I’ll try and explain it better. There is also a hope of trying to do some marine biology (!) and repeat some experiements done a few years ago, where mud samples were taken in a local river estuary and the life found within catalogued. It’s a pretty dynamic delta, which has changed substantially in the intervening years, so it would be very interesting (for a biologist at least) to see if the life within has also changed.

Amongst all of that, there are still many odd jobs around Mwamba to be getting on with – painting bathrooms, resetting paths, hunting for driftwood are all things that get done when I’m bored of looking at a computer screen.

All in all, I’m kept pretty busy. Mwamba also functions as a guest house, so there are always new people to meet and learn from. This week, we had a photographer from an organisation called SaveOurSeas visit (a wonderful organisation), a couple of Spanish divers, a bird ringer from South Africa and a couple of students from the UK. Never really a dull moment!


  1. Great to hear you’re being kept so busy. It’s weird hearing that people actual do all the stuff I heard about in Conservation Biology lectures!!

  2. Thanks for your hello on my blog. thought i would return the favour. Sounds like things are going well for you. Glad to hear it.

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