Life is good.

Move number three since I have been in South Africa complete. Have I mentioned how much I HATE moving? This house is absolutely incredible though, minus no WiFi and bad phone service, but it is definitely a trade off. Ryno and I went on a 5k run and hike afterwards of our new “backyard.” It feels so amazing to be surrounded by nature and to be reminded of how beautiful Cape Town’s wilderness is. Though I am not sure how long I will be in this house for, I just cannot wait to find somewhere to actually settle into and not have to keep moving every month.

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View from my bed!

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I have no posted on here yet, but if you follow my Facebook, I am sure you are in the knowhow, but I have met the most incredible man. His name is Gareth and we have been dating for near a month now and everything seems to just fit into place so perfectly with him. I have never experienced a connection like this before and he makes me so truly happy in every aspect. 🙂

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Ryno is getting HUGE! He has gone into his monster, “terrible twos” stage now. We have now added “paw” to his list of skills/tricks. Paw is most definitely his favourite though, he gets so excited when you ask him for it. He walks wonderful both on and off leash. I think moving to Newlands Forest is really good for him, it’s a great way to work on our off leash skills, get some good exercise in and play with all the other dogs out hiking about the forest.

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My new roommates have two dogs a Boston terrier named Max and a little chihuahua mix named Minnie. Minnie is already over Ryno’s puppy antics and Max wants nothing more than to chase and hump Ryno all day. Hopefully (fingers crossed) those dynamics change and it all works out. Only time will tell. Having him makes all the difference for me though, my hikes and just daily life is so much better knowing that I have him to join in on everything with me. He absolutely adores Gareth too! Things are finally starting to fall into place in my life.

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Well, most things. I am still struggling with the whole visa process, but have a couple options that I am pursuing right now. Currently though, it looks like I will be back in the States just after Thanksgiving for anywhere from a couple of weeks up to a month or two. I will try to make plans to see everyone, but it all depends on how long I am around for. My new nephew will be born by then and I cannot wait to meet him! It is so weird to not be apart of my sister’s baby shower or to know that I won’t be able to be at the hospital when he is born. Thank goodness for the internet and all the millions of ways to stay in touch. I would be absolutely lost without being able to chat with Becca or Andrew on a daily basis.

Work is going really well. This week I have been going through images of leopards and identifying individuals based on spot patterns. This allows us to get a census population count as well as track the overall movements and health quality of individuals. I have fallen in love with one male in particular and think he is absolutely stunning! I get excited everytime a photo comes up of him. It is a lot of fun to track these guys. I will be heading to my field sites in about a month or so and then will be spending around 6-7 weeks out working in the bush setting up my own camera survey. Of course I am really excited to see more of the country and to spend time in the bush again. I really do have the best of both worlds here with Panthera.

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Basically, I just wanted to update yall on all that is happening and let you know that life is good. 🙂

Have a wonderful day!

And I skipped a week, maybe two… but to be fair so much has happened!

First and foremost, this happened:

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Meet my little adopted African baby, Ryno!

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Ryno was found on the streets with his mother and other litter mates, the mom was emaciated, but “belonged” to a homeless man who refused to surrender her to the shelter, but was willing to give up her pups. I visited the shelter for one of their “puppy therapy play sessions” where you get to sit in the puppy room and just get loved to death by all these adorable puppies who are looking for homes. Ryno wrapped his paws around my arm and just held on to me and that was it. As I was adopting him and getting his paperwork, I noticed his birthday 13 May – that’s my mom’s birthday. It was definitely meant to be! He is such an incredible pup, he is already so smart. He has mastered ‘sit’ and already has the hang of ‘down’ and ‘heel.’ He is going to be the perfect little brother for Diesel when he comes over, I cannot wait for them to meet!

A group of friends of mine from CCF (Tarik, Mel, Carys, and Anerin if you’ve been paying attention to names) have been doing a 3+ month 4×4 excursion of Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and South Africa and stopped by for a few days as part of their final leg of the trip. It was so absolutely wonderful to see them again! I met them in Darling at this amazing brewery and then we spent the next few days doing a craft beer tour of Cape Town. Unfortunately, everyone had to part ways and that group is heading back to the UK, but I already cannot wait to see them again in the future!

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Have I talked to you since I moved in my new house? I could easily just look up my last post, but that requires work, so I will assume not. I adore my roommates and the house is beyond perfect. Except one problem. We just found out the landlord sold it and now we all have to move out. Just my luck, right? Well, I got lucky and have already found a new place that I will be moving into at the end of this month. It is IN Newlands Forest (remember that place I went hiking my first week there?) – so the house is completely surrounded by woods AND it is only a 20 minute walk to work and a 20 minute walk to the gym. It has a huge wooded yard, vegetable garden, herb garden and avocado tree. Oh and it’s cheaper! My new roommates are Jason and Dan and they are lovely as well. I am very excited for this house too, just not too excited about having to move. Again.

I have some other things in the works that I will update you guys soon on.

Cheers 🙂

 

Well that was….. exciting.

Tomorrow is moving day! I am super excited!

I have had a bit of an interesting week. I have been trying (without success) to get a South African bank account all week. Wednesday, I was at a bank after work located within a mall and while I was there apparently there was an attempted robbery which resulted in a shootout between 4 gunmen and the police!! It was definitely not the smartest plan on the robbers’ part – the mall is right across the street from the police department. Within minutes the entire place was completely surrounded with officers and K9 units! Everyone was evacuated and I believe Main Road was shut down for a bit as well. I left and went to the gym afterwards. Welcome to city life in Africa, I guess.

Hmm let’s see… what else?

Oh. Not nearly as exciting as a shootout, but still super exciting to me nonetheless, the Field Guide that I have been working on is officially online! https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/panthera-research/camera-catalogue/classify Click on ‘Field Guide’ on the right side and check it out! I am quite proud of it. I am now working on finishing up a similar field guide for another one of our sites now. It is a guide that will help our users with some of those tougher photo captures. It has a side-by-side comparison of similar legs, up close and personal snouts, those bits of fluff and fur, and it also features a Southern Africa Species Guide. The Southern Africa Species Guide gives more information such as distribution and fun facts about the animals that our users can identify in the datasets. I really think our users will enjoy it and find it helpful. Joleen (the other girl in my position, from France), and I have been working really hard on it, so it is great to have it online! PS – are you one of our users yet? It’s a lot of fun and really addicting!

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I drew all the graphics for it too 🙂

I also had a wonderful Skype date with Becca this week on Monday night. Talking with her always makes things better. I miss her so much!

I think I am due for another hike or adventure this weekend. Cape Town is such an incredible place and I fall in love with it all over again every time I get a chance to go out and explore it.

It has been a quite week as far as my badass moped life goes, unfortunately I have been too busy to get much riding in so I will pin that on the list for this weekend too.

I am cooking ostrich steaks for dinner tonight and am really excited! I heard it can be a bit tricky because it’s such a lean meat, but it is one of the healthiest red meats you can it. Wish me luck!