Thursday, June 07, 2007

another week ... GONE!

Time is slipping away scarily fast right now. I can hardly believe it's June already! Next month is the third year fieldttrip, thes tart of my actual project and my first conference. I shouldn't get so freaked out about the conference, it should be relatively small and I was supposed to present last year but decided to go to the desert instead!

So last week I decided that it was time to get my butt in gear and get to work properly. I submitted my abstract, my animal ethics and got my proposal in some kind of shape so I can actuallty work with it instead of pulling my hair out and crying whenever I thought about it!

Then early on Saturday morning Luke and I left to deliver a car and some equipment to Ben, a friend who is working on owls in the kalahari. It was a totally unforgettable weekend! First we got lost. I was looking for a turnoff that I'd been warned was rather small and hard to see. We went past a sign that I thought said we were 30km frmo the end of the road. Turns out we were actually 50km. So we turned around and drove back, realised that we were ketting a little bit too close to the town we'd just passed through and turned around again. As it happened, we had been 4km from the turnoff when we'd turned around the first time! The worst part was that there was a donkey-cart with people in it that we had to pass 3 times!

Molopo, the reserve Ben is working in is really amazingly beautiful! I've been to the kalahari before, but it had been a bit of a disappointment, but this was incredible! There was nothing except for a few trees and soft soft sand. Occasionally a tuft or two of grass, but it was real desert! Tswalu, where we went before had had a lot of rain that year and was really densely vegetated and I'd been really sad that I'd missed the sandy desert I've always wanted to see!

We'd been warned that it would be really cold at night and had packed accordingly (Luke even made me get a hot water bottle...) but it was actually perfect weather. We had so much fun, the conversation never died down, we laughed almost non-stop and we both got to hold the cutest little owls! They were so well behaved and never mauled us (unlike my pet birds...). We had gemsbok fighting around our camp, tree rats (we never saw them, but heard many stories, and saw a dead one) and ground squirrels stealing socks and there was sand everywhere. It was AWESOME!

I also ate enough meat to last me until about August, but it was all really nice. Luke also blew up some gemsquash, so one evening we had these little yellow strands of vegetable matter flying everywhere!

It was really hard to go home on Monday, and Wits has been really horrible and cold and entirely non-desertish, which is never fun. taht's the problem with Joburg. I love it and it'll always be home, but every time I go away it's harder to come back! I'm also starting to get excited about my fieldwork. Just because it'll be nice to get away for a while and do something other than sit behind a computer trying to think scientific thoughts!


Nicole said...

Thanks for visiting my blog...unfortunately I have no advice on how not to feel nervous during your presentation but just pray it get over REAL fast!!! and the relieve you feel afterwards is SO GREAT!!! it will be over before you know it