I thought it would be fun to document what our lives look like on a daily basis, so for two days I took a photo every hour to illustrate what we do here in Fisi Camp. This comes with the disclaimers that there really is no “typical day” here because you never know what will happen, that this is just my experience (which can be very different from other RAs or grad students in camp), and that our lives are (thankfully) too complex to be fully captured in 48 hours. That being said, I hope this at least helps to illuminate what it is we do here and why we love this job.
Wake up and get ready for obs. I packed a snack the night before so I actually had time for a cup of chai this morning.
On obs, checking out the (sadly empty) Aardwolf den.
On obs, driving around looking and listening for hyenas with Julie and Hadley.
On obs, recording important information into my DVR. (Actually, none of the hyenas cooperated with the hourly photo-taking schedule, but we did see 11 hyenas and a cheetah this morning).
Back from obs, about to take a much-needed nap.
Still taking a nap. (Clearly, too asleep to actually take a real photo).
Finishing up breakfast while watching Gilmore Girls.
Working on transcriptions (when I write up the notes I recorded into my DVR during obs).
Working on IDing photos of hyenas (I still don’t know who this is).
In Talek, getting the car repaired.
In Talek with Benson, running errands (in this case, buying matches and phone credit).
Driving back from Talek, about to forge the Dick Hedges crossing (no, I don’t know who Dick Hedges was or why they named it after him).
On obs, driving Hadley to Fig Tree territory.
On obs in Fig Tree. I switched places with Hadley to optimize video-taking abilities.
At the Fig Tree den with the tools of the trade (it’s too dark to see in the photo of the den but trust me there are hyenas out there).
Driving back from Fig Tree and trying to escape an impending storm.
Eating dinner and watching Gilmore Girls with subtitles on so we can hear/read it over the rain.
We just looked at the rain gauge and saw that we got too much to go out tomorrow morning. And so…more Gilmore Girls!
A little bit of reading, and then bed.
It’s a new day and I got to sleep in!
Doing some badly needed tent cleaning.
Exercising to make up for the long hours sitting in a car or in front of a computer screen. (Apparently I am so good at push-ups that I turn invisible when I do them).
Hanging out at the kitchen tent making breakfast.
Having a camp meeting with the Jackson, Joseph, Benson, and Hadley.
Checking the solar batteries (after doing the weekly cleaning of the solar panels) before I plug in and begin computer work.
Working on a Secret Santa gift for our New Year’s party (shh, don’t tell).
Cleaning and organizing the lab tent.
Working on transcriptions.
About to head out on obs (I get a break and sit in the back tonight).
On obs, searching for hyenas that magically turn into bushes, rocks, termite mounds, warthogs, or topi when you look at them with binoculars.
On obs. Helios just took down a baby impala, so I am recording scans while Benson focuses on behavior.
Heading back to camp and maneuvering through the cow herds that come into the reserve to graze at night.
Dinner and, you guessed it, more Gilmore Girls.
We have to wake up extra early tomorrow, so it’s bedtime.
Wake up and get ready for another exciting day. (Sorry, this is as enthusiastic as I can look before dawn, but I promise I do love this job).