Help Ali bring Titi the Wonder Dog to America! Donate below! for more information, see

Help Ali bring Titi to America!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

February News

Hello from the field! I can’t believe it’s already late February – where has this month gone? I’d like to say it’s been packed to the brim with data collection, but that’s sadly not true. Two of my units and the one bachelor group that I have had boys disperse into have gone missing! And, Murphy’s Law in action here, the groups that are missing contain a huge number of my monkeys! The Ts have 7 juveniles and the 4 subadults who dispersed, and the Zs have 11 juveniles and subadults. Yikes! Luckily, the 6 other groups I work on have been relatively easy to find so I have had work to do. I do usually end up with one or two days each week where I fruitlessly search nearby areas in the hopes of finding my missing geladas. I guess I shouldn’t say fruitlessly – last week, I found the bachelor group that had the four T subadults in it! We got their focals and poop, so that was good. Apparently the Ts and Zs have a habit of disappearing every year about this time, so it wasn’t totally unexpected, but it’s still frustrating! Hopefully they will return in the next week or two and I can get back to checking off all the names on my check sheet every week.

We also took our monthly Gondar trip recently. That was a lot of fun. We had to get our car fixed so we were in town for three days. One of those days was Valentine’s Day, which I didn’t think would be a big deal at all in Ethiopia. But while Julie and I were at dinner, two men came around handing out red roses to everyone in the restaurant, free of charge! Then when we were walking home, carrying our roses, passers-by started shouting “Happy Valentine!” at us! So all in all, a pretty fun day. It was also nice to be in town because we had reliable internet and phone service. I got to talk to my family and Sam, send off some important emails – all the things that seem like no big deal until you are stuck somewhere where you can’t do them!

Tomorrow my aunt and uncle will be driving from Bahir Dar to the mountains, so I will get to stay for two nights in the Simien Lodge with them! I’ll still go to work during the day (and take them with me) but I’ll get to spend my evenings in the lap of luxury – electricity, hot showers, a chef, a full bar…. Not too shabby! It will be really great to see them and to hear how they are liking Ethiopia so far. Maybe the Ts and Zs will even cooperate and come out to say hello! It does mean I have a few things to do this afternoon – clean my room, wash my hair, write some emails to be sent in the next few days, things like that. Then tomorrow after work it’s off to paradise! :)

OH I also forgot to write about my birthday! We took a day off work and hitched a ride up to Chennek in a dump truck. We spent the night there, and just kicked back and relaxed. We saw a bunch of geladas, a pair of bushbuck, and even a Walia ibex! Very exciting. I had a brownie cake with candles on it for dessert and some random local guides joined in with the singing. Although it would have been nice to have phone service so that I could call home, it was a really fun day. I got lots of awesome packages in Debark, so that was exciting and special. And now I’m 25! Crazy. It was a little bizarre to have it be so toasty warm and dusty here, given that my last couple of birthdays have been in the snow in Princeton! I did find it amusing that last year I celebrated by cooking a big Ethiopian dinner for some friends in America, and this year I celebrated by eating Top Ramen in Ethiopia. Strange how the world turns…

No comments:

Post a Comment