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May 1, 2014

It’s never easy to travel over seas , especially with a large group. But we have an amazing class of students and partners from FRB with us. Even after all of our troubles getting through customs and getting to bed around 5am, everyone was up and ready for our orientation at 10am tea. These students are dedicated and excited to discover and share the stories of Kenya. After some prep and relax time today we will be off early tomorrow morning to explore our first community just outside of Nairobi. Make sure to visit our Facebook page for more pictures.

May 1, 2014

Arrived Safely

After a long day of travel some adventures along the way and 7+ time zones we arrived last night at around 4am at the Mennonite Guest House in Nairobi. More details to come as we settle in. The students are tired and but ready to go.

May 1, 2014

Kenya at Last

April 29- May 1 5:20 am Well, today was a very long and eventful day. I spent about 18 hours on airplanes. I unfortunately got sick for the first time in the very beginning of our flight from Chicago to Istanbul. Thankfully I had my faithful seat buddy David to save me in my time of need. When we finally landed in Turkey their airport looked like a mall. I mean you could buy a new Chanel, Coach, Prada bag, or even new underwear at Victoria’s Secret. This place was huge. Then to add to the excitement of Turkey I…

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April 30, 2014

All 14 Goshen College students of the 2014 Kenya Conservation and Research Methods in Savannas class arrived safely last night.  After three trips to the airport, the last at 2:00 a.m., the students enjoyed a short night of sleep at the Mennonite Guest House in Nairobi. Today’s plan is to rest, recuperate, and orient ourselves to the pulse of life here in Kenya. Students awoke for breakfast at 7:30 a.m., played soccer in the yard, enjoyed tea and orientation under the gazebo, walked to Westlands after lunch and relaxed in the guesthouse gardens. Tomorrow we will make the 4 hour…

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April 28, 2014

Traveling Light

When I travel I like to travel as light as possible. However, somehow I ended up in a profession that often has me packing more gear then a Sherpa. The class go together this morning for donuts and some bonding over packing the camera gear for the long journey to Kenya. We are taking 4 cameras, tripods, a Kessler Traveler Jib, Kessler Pocket Dolly, audio gear, support equipment and batteries galore. I’m sure most of these bags are overweight but it’s the cost of doing business for filmmakers. The students seem excited and anxious to get filming in Kenya. That’s…

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April 23, 2014

Over May Term Goshen College students, 2 faculty and representatives from Foods Resource Bank (FRB) will travel to Kenya, Africa to hopefully embark on telling stories about the Africa we don’t know or see. As the faculty member who is teaching the documentary portion of this class I have stressed to my students to not assume anything and to remain flexible within our context. This is my first time to Africa and I know this is easier said then done. Being alive for a lot longer then most of the people on this trip I come into this with a…

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April 23, 2014

The 2014 Conservation & Research Methods in Savannas class blog is about to launch. We just need the students! The students are eagerly finishing up the semester in Goshen and will fly to Kenya on Tuesday April 29th.  After spending 2 nights in Nairobi, we’ll make the 4 hour drive to Mpala Research Centre, our home for the next 3 weeks. For a taste of what they might experience, you can scroll back through the 2013 blog. Stay tuned! – Ryan Sensenig

June 27, 2013

Final Farewells

  I write this final blog from Nairobi at the Mennonite Guest House.  On Wednesday, we came to town (4-5 hour drive) to return Beryl, Dedan, Erick, and Hannah to their homes in addition to bringing Leah and Mandy to the Guest House.  It is hard to believe the course is over, but we’ve many memories that will allow the experience to live on. Monday began with a lecture from executive director of the Laikipia Wildlife Forum, Mordecai Ogada.  LWF is a non-profit organization that seeks to integrate water, wildlife, forestry, and community development across the Laikipia District.  The students were…

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June 23, 2013

On Friday we visited Segera Ranch, a ranch that borders Mpala ranch where we are staying.  Segera works closely with its community members on its borders and we heard a  presentation by Njenga, the coordinator of the Zeitz Foundation’s outreach programs.  More information can be found here.  Students were impressed with the various projects underway: construction of schools above huge water tanks to retain rainwater, outreach with women’s groups to create beadwork for sale in the U.K., beekeeping ventures, football leagues that include conservation education, and traveling theater troupes that provide environmental education. We also met with the ranch manager,…

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June 23, 2013

This morning we all worked on organizing and analyzing the data that we gathered during our field visits earlier in the course. However, later in the morning, Ryan suddenly came around and whispered urgently for all of us to leave what we were doing and quickly come load up in the van and Land Rover. Personally, I was quite surprised and confused at first, but soon all became clear: the pack of wild dogs that range around this area of Laikipia had been spotted on Mpala Ranch! Once we had all loaded up, we were guided by an askari (guard)…

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