29 November 2010

Lion Update

The lion follows have been going well, though a few of the lions have been more difficult to locate as they spend more and more time in the thick bush near the escarpment. We have seen Ren, Stimpy, and Mwanzo much less frequently than we did a couple months ago because the thick bush makes it either impossible to get close to them or if we do get close we can't get a visual on them through the dense vegetation. Thankfully, Esipata, Kereng'ende, and Bolt have been cooperative and we collected a wealth of data in November. The highlights of the month included:
  • finding three giraffe carcasses killed by lions in the span of five days
  • collecting 15 lion fecal samples in one day
  • multiple encounters of 3 new male lions that seem to have settled in the study area
  • finding one of the new males courting one of the uncollared females from the Lengungu pride (Photos 1-3)
  • the next day finding another of the new males with Esipata (Photo 4)
  • tracking Kereng'ende and finding her after she had just killed and eaten a guinea fowl

28 November 2010

November School Visits

This month we visited several different schools with a number of different purposes. At the start of the month, we accompanied Joel Njonjo and Albert Kuseyo to Entasopia Primary School and Oloibortoto Primary School where they donated solar lights that had been purchased by a group that had visited the Resource Centre earlier this year. In this photo Joel is donating solar lights to the head teacher at Oloibortoto Primary School.

We also continued our weekly visits to the Patterson Memorial Secondary School's Wildlife Club. We held some interesting discussions, presented the Form 4 students (seniors) with certificates of participation we made for the club, and taught the students how to identify some of large mammal species in Olkiramatian and Shompole with an interactive presentation. They are on break now for a month but we are looking forward to the start of the new term in January and we already have several ideas for activities we will do when school resumes. In this photo the students are playing a game where I showed them a picture of a large mammal and they had to identify it correctly...they did very well. Maybe one day I can take them out and show them gerenuk and impala, then I don't think they'd confuse them again.

Toward the end of the month we visited the Embirika Nursery School with Joel and Albert so they could donate some school supplies that had been donated to the Resource Centre. There were many parents in attendance to show their support and to entertain us and the students performed a few songs for us as well. In this photo I am reading a book to the students and parents and Albert is translating it into Maasai. I think the parents enjoyed it as much as their children!

27 November 2010

Construction Update

Construction is definitely wrapping up at the Resource Centre. The workers made a lot of progress in November and many of us have already started benefiting from the new buildings. They are hoping to be completely finished in the next week or two so the camp is brimming with excitement about moving into all the new buildings.

In the researcher's part of camp we have been enjoying the new kitchen all month. The kitchen itself and the storage area has made cooking and eating much more pleasant.

Last week the plumber hooked up the water so we have running water in the kitchen as well!

On November 24th we had our very first meal in the new mess area. The views are beautiful, the raised wood floor is nice and cool, and a refreshing breeze blows freely through to the other side.

On Thanksgiving Day we moved out of the hot, cramped office tent and moved into the new office. We now have a comfortable, cool place to do computer work, read, and write. It's a major improvement.