Time flies when you’re having fun
December 13, 2013
By Ben Daggett (University of Vermont)
If one rule has remained true throughout our time in Botswana, it is that time flies when you are having fun. Personally, I still feel as though we just arrived in Botswana not too long ago. From hours and hours traveling on roads (both paved and bush roads), repairing our vehicles, being serenaded by lions at night, and enjoying all of the benefits that come with living in the bush, all of us can agree that our time here has been life-changing.
One fun thing that we did throughout the semester was “Character Quizzes” to see which character from different categories best fitted each of our personalities. It allowed us to learn a lot about each other and have tons of laughs along the way. We relied on lots of expertise from individual group members for some categories (ex. Anna: Harry Potter Characters). Here is a list of what African bird each of us would be:
Anna: Southern Carmine Bee-eater
Adelie: Magpie Shrike
Amelia: Meyer’s Parrot
Ben: Martial Eagle
Ema: Pearl Spotted Owlet
Mike: Goliath Heron
Genifer: Secretary Bird
We will all miss Botswana, including everything from the wildlife to the children we played with (a.k.a. babysat) in Mababe, the escort guides we worked with, and the beautiful places we visited. Personally, I will especially miss sleeping in a tent and listening to all the sounds of the African night. Even though we are leaving now, I feel as though it will not be goodbye forever.
For other undergraduates looking into a Round River program, I would recommend Botswana if you are looking for a self-motivated, diverse, and awe-inspiring experience. Learning from the people and the wildlife here was truly a privelege that has impacted me personally and positively influenced my career aspirations. Regardless of your college major (sciences, arts, education, and all other areas of study) I think there is a place in a Round River program for anyone interested in conservation. If I could “go back” to September 2013 right now, I would definitely do the program all over again!