Zebra stripes and baboon butts

Well I had a running blog entry up on my computer describing my first few days at CCF, but that seems to have ran away to never never land. It looks like I have to start over again. Bummer. Well instead of all the fun details you are going to get a recap of my first week and half.  Johannesburg Airport was a huge disappointment after spending 12 hours at Heathrow. It’s a very shabby and super-duper confusing airport, but I made my way through and out and landed in Namibia! I met up with a research student from Brazil, Samara (Sam), at the Windhoek Airport and we shared a cab ride (driven by Cappe, the standard CCF cab driver) the 4 hour trek to CCF which is just outside (40 min drive) of Otjiwarongo. We arrived around 1800 and were instructed on where we could put our things. They set us up in one of the dorm rooms. Being staff I later received my own house, but the first weekend I shared a dorm room with Sam and Ana, another Brazilian intern. Dinner is at 1830 at the “Hot Spot” which is a pavilion of picnic tables and a conjoined kitchen and serving room where we eat all our meals buffet style. This is where we met our new family. Everyone was super welcoming and very nice, even when randomly prompted to “tell me an African story,” one of the guys, Nick, jumped right to the task and told a funny story about how zebra got his stripes and why baboon’s bum is so red.

The next few days were a whirlwind of trying to figure out where exactly I fit in to everything and what my actual job description is going to be. After some back and forth with Dr. Laurie Marker (CCF Director) we have decided my title is Assistant Operations Manager and Intern/Volunteer Supervisor. Woot, sounds like a big task and I am definitely up to the challenge! There is a huge staff turnover going on right now. Eli and Kate have been CCF superstars and have worked here for 3 years and both have left this week to go back to school to earn their Masters at universities in the UK, then the current intern supervisor, Karin also was leaving. So the breakdown of most of the Namibia staff is (so you can refer to this when I just throw out names) and also where they’re from:

  • Laurie Marker, DPhil (USA) – Founder and Executive Director
  • Bruce Brewer, PhD (USA) – General Manager
  • Tess Robitschko (Germany) – Personal Assistant to the Director
  • Bart Bali (France) – Research Assistant – I haven’t met him yet, he’s currently on vacation
  • Tarik Bodasing (South Africa) – Ecologist
  • Stephanie Bradley (USA) – Education Manager (Married to Bobby)
  • Bobby Bradley (USA) – IT consultant (Married to Stephanie)
  • Emma Alfonso, DVM (Australia) – Research Veterinarian
  • Ashley Flaig (USA) – Cheetah Keeper
  • Mike Gardiner (UK) – Tourism Manager (married to Louisa)
  • Becky Johnston (Canada) – Research Assistant
  • Tamara Schenker (Austria), PhD – Genetics Technician
  • Louisa Richmond-Coggan, PhD (UK) – Ecology Manager (Married to Mike)
  • Paige Seitz (USA) – Livestock Guarding Dog Manager
  • Richard Sirrika (Namibia) – Development Technician
  • Tyapa Toivo (Namibia)– Small Stock Supervisor
  • Hanlie Visser (Germany) – Hospitality Manager
  • Paul Visser (Germany) – Estate Manager
  • Kaetlyn Weidum (USA) – Research Assistant

And of course the short term-ers (research students, interns, and volunteers) that I adore so much and am sad they’re only here for a short time:

  • Samara (Sam) from Brazil
  • Nick from London
  • Ana from Brazil
  • Bogdan from Romania
  • Sheridan from the USA

Okay so I am going to wrap this up now so I don’t lose it and you have at least somewhat of an entry (also, my lunch hour is coming to an end and I need to get back to work). I will write up more and finish my week’s recap for you after dinner tonight and come back and add photos to this entry too! I haven’t had a day off since landing in Namibia, so that’s my excuse for not updating yall yet, but I will get back to you soon.

IMG_3106.JPG

Tootles!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s