Goodbye and lesere!


Lauren Ross, International Intern

Date Published

My internship has come to an end after what felt like only a few short weeks. It’s amazing how fast time flies when you’re enjoying life and living in the moment. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and would do it again in a heartbeat! In fact, my entire experience in Kenya with both internships has inspired me to return to do research. I have fallen in love with the land, the wildlife, the people and the plight of certain species like lions and elephants. Therefore, my next goal is to return to grad school in The States but complete my research here. I feel there are lots of good options but I have a few in mind that I’m hoping might work out within the next few years. My near term goal is to endure in America until I can return; live on memories and daydreams of my next adventure.

I will miss observing the tranquil, serene elephant behavior I witnessed throughout the park, as well as their resilience and endurance in the midst of such a chaotic, stressful world. I’m forever touched by how they care for each other in deeper ways that seem to transcend mere survival. I will miss waking up to monkeys playing outside my tent and the dawn chorus of exotic birds greeting the new day. I will miss seeing leopards and lions on a regular basis and getting to know their personalities and whereabouts. I’ve been struck by how regal and magnificent they are, yet I’ve also seen how their placid demeanor belies a hair trigger temperament. I will miss seeing open stretches of empty land with no buildings or eye-sores obstructing the fabulous view, my eyes able to scan the horizon for miles in a way they’re not accustomed. I will miss the unpredictable weather that changes every 30 minutes, providing entertainment in the form of billowy clouds mixed with rainbows followed by dark storm clouds and sunsets peeking through in a new and beautiful way each evening. I will miss the people I’ve met and befriended, who have shown me more kindness and generosity than I’ve ever experienced in The States, with open doors, endless food and welcoming hearts. I know that through these friendships I’ve learned a lot about myself, which I will take back to my home and always remember. My one regret is not seeing a live snake in all of Kenya! Apparently it’s been too dry (they don’t show themselves until the rains hit) so that’s one thing I have to look forward to when I return. Thank you Kenya for converting me into an Africa-phile! I look forward to my return.