Camping is More Fun with Friends

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I recently went to Kenya as a ten day program switch from my Tanzania campus. The main thing that we did while I was there was a six day long camping trip in the beautiful Masai Mara wildlife park and there I learned that the most important aspect of a camping trip is teamwork. While my program in Tanzania did several camping trips, none of them were as long as this one. It takes a lot of resilience and energy to be out in nature for that long, even if it is as incredible an experience as I had. For one thing, it rained almost every night, not a sprinkle but a downpour. When we heard the thunder it was all hands on deck to move everything into the tents and to try to do the dishes before the rain hit. Even if you weren’t on the dish crew you knew if you didn’t help they would get soaked. Preparing the cars for game drives was always a team effort. Not only did the cars have to be packed with snacks, first aid kits, and bags, but lunch had to be prepped and packed. Our group was huge, which meant extra strain on the staff so we always helped out where we could. I never really thought much about how much effort must go into feeding and transporting such a large group and after experiencing it myself first hand I am so so grateful for everything our support staff does for us. Even spotting wildlife is a multi person job. There were so many animals I would have missed out on seeing if someone else didn’t point them out, or so many birds I would not have known the names of without my new ornithology friends. Not only did they make the trip possible, but each of the people I went with made the trip more fun. Singing in the car coming back from a long day, cracking jokes to keep the energy up, or even just sharing beautiful nature experiences were all more lovely with my new friends. I am so lucky to be able to go on these amazing adventures with all of these wonderful, passionate individuals and I can’t wait to make more memories with them.