It has been three weeks now since I joined the Save the Elephants team as an intern. I was intrigued by joining a team of conservationists who work beyond limits to ensure the harmony between humans and elephants. Since then, there have been a myriad of activities that I took part in, that are equally memorable as they are educating.
A week into my internship, I got a chance to take part in the Disney Education Programme that STE runs, to teach school children about elephants behaviour, importance and need for conservation. The lessons are comprehensive with integrated teaching methods to ensure full participation of the pupils. It entails learning through instruction, observation and engaging in discussions among the pupils. This programme aims at creating conservation ambassadors that would go a great way in sustaining elephant populations in Samburu and beyond.
At camp, I was so overwhelmed by the warm reception that we received. It was my first experience of being at camp, and like a soldier I had to adapt, take up my gears and soar on. This was such an intriguing experience and therapeutic, not only to my career but to my being. From the great STE family, to the delightful morning melodies and magnificent sunsets that made this a first-rate experience.
Before conducting the lessons, we had to pre-evaluate the pupils’ basic knowledge about elephants and it proved to be such an interesting task in the three schools; Lorubae, Chumviere and Attan. It was on the following day that we began our lessons at Chumviere Primary School. After a long drive through the thorny and rocky landscapes, the STE team that included Daud, Trezer, Njoki, Becky, Nancy and I arrived at the school at around 10am to conduct the first lesson. It was great to learn and at the same share with the children the amazing facts about elephants. The pupils’ vigour was a driving force to a great lesson. The pupils got a chance to watch the BBC nature documentary, The Secret Life of Elephants, demonstrating the lives of the African Elephants and the role of Save the Elephants in the conservation of this vulnerable species in Samburu National Reserve.
On the following week, the Lorubae lessons were conducted but since Trezer and Njoki had returned to Nairobi, the education team was accompanied by Patrick, an international intern and Becky. Lorubae being the home of vim and vigor, as expected, had a thrilling session with more excitement towards the end of the lesson, when no one could leave for home without candy.
Whenever I was at camp, I joined the Long Term Monitoring team to the field as I got to learn several behaviours and families of the elephants. The Spices, Mountain Ranges, Royals and Poetics are some of the families that I got to see. I had not imagined before that I would get as close to an elephant as I did while in Samburu. The moment of silence as we observed them displayed their amazing intelligence and human-like behaviour. Time spent with the elephants created a sense of intimacy and understanding, which left me yearning to spend more time and learn more about these amazing enormous creatures.