Cheetah Land Orientation!

Here we are! Day one of cheetah land conservation work. The internet connection is pretty spotty, so I shall keep my message short.

Today was orientation day. I found out how the center works and ALL the different things that need to happen in order for cheetahs to survive – not only do cheetahs need to be feed, their cages cleaned, we also need to do a lot of work to keep the place running (such as water plants, office work). There is a lot to do.

This morning I was treated to a cheetah run! The center founder, Dr. Laurie Marker, let us get into the pen with the 4 ambassador cheetahs (TigerLily, Senay, Peter, and Kaijay). These cheetahs aren’t tame but they are used to humans so they won’t attack. We saw them take off and chase these lures for exercise. Afterwards, we were allowed to stand close and take a photo (but no petting!). In the afternoon, we watched cheetahs being fed. Tomorrow the real work begins. I shall be cleaning cages and looking for cheetah scat (in laymen’s terms: poop).

I cannot attach a picture with this post…but I shall soon to attempting again. What kind of sound do you think a male cheetah makes?

p.s. In answer to Sam’s question – I sleep in a rondovel (African hut) on a bed.

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Required carry on

My shoulder is red and raw from lugging around a green duffle bag. It’s a just in case carry on. The second leg of my long haul stops over in Johannesburg. Apparently JBerg airport is famous for loosing bags.

I’m exceeding nervous about this transfer in JBerg. Not only would I have ready endured a 16 hour flight in an airbus (really? No 747?), I will only have 1 hour in JBerg to transfer. It’ll be like that scene in Home Alone 2, with the family dashing madly through the airport.

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We now begin the long transit to Africa

It’s now time! I cannot believe I’m about to jump on the plane to new york and the transition to Africa.

Can’t believe I’m still standing. Had to close out at school today as well as pack. Did I sleep the night before? No…. Not really….

Nothin says see you later Los angeles like a Kobe Bryan stuffie!!

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I AM GOING!!

English: One of the non-releasable cheetahs re...

English: One of the non-releasable cheetahs residing at CCF. Author: P. Tricorache. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is it appropriate to scream from the rooftops how excited I am? I still remember submitting my application to Fund For Teachers (FFT) and then forcing myself to forget about it. I was rejected in years past. Why would they pick me this year?

So,I received a letter in April. Let me be more specific, I received a VERY thin letter in April. You know what they say about “thin letters,” right? Thin = no. Dreading the news, I ripped that thin envelope open. I got myself ready for a”Thank you for applying, but the pool of applications were extremely qualified” statement. BUT. I. Was. Wrong. The thin letter started with Congratulations! I had to reread it several times. I WAS CHOSEN!!

Not only was I chosen, I was chosen to go study CHEETAHS IN AFRICA! What?? How is this even possible? I am going to travel to Namibia, buckle down with the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) and spend a lovely two weeks learning about cheetah conservation! Just wait till I bring this experienced back into the classroom! I cannot wait to get my hands dirty. Thank you Fund for Teachers!!

For more information about Fund for Teachers: 

http://www.fundforteachers.org/

For more information about Cheetah Conservation Fund: 

http://www.cheetah.org/

Can you believe this is where I will be and what I will be seeing soon?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!