Monday, June 20, 2011

Let the adventure begin!!!

This march, I was in Florida on a last minute trip with my mom and my brother to visit my grandfather after a pretty upsetting situation with his health came up. He's 91, and his age is finally catching up to him. About three days into the trip, he was talking more than he had in weeks according to my grandmother and laughing for the first time since he had gotten sick. I woke up that morning and randomly decided to check my e-mail for the first time sine I'd been there. In it was my congratulations letter from the Rutgers SEBS International Program, saying that they were offering me a scholarship for the summer primatology program in Kenya. I almost took my 6 foot brother to the ground when I ran at him and jumped on him with excitement.

The amazing part was the essay that I wrote for the application was about my grandfather and how his life pursuing travel and education has inspired me to do the same. It was only right that I was with him when I found out I was going.

Now, a little over a month away from my trip, I am full of nervous excitement. I will be graduating in December with my bachelor's after six and a half years of bouncing around trying to find my way through schools and majors. Three years ago I spent a semester in Costa Rica studying spanish and marine biology. There, I found my passion in science. I came home, and started my Rutgers career as an ecology and natural resource major. The program in Kenya offers so many experiences that I have been craving. Aside from the goal of getting out of the country for travel at least once a year, I have wanted to go to Africa since I was little. For me, pushing myself out of comfort zone has produced the most rewarding and amazing life experiences. Kenya is so different from anything I have ever seen or known, and therefore allows me the perfect opportunity to put myself in a situation where I can fully be exposed to something completely unfamiliar. Not only that, but I will be traveling there to study primate ecology and biology, which speaks for itself as one of the coolest experiences I could ever want.

We will be traveling to different places, mainly camping, in a range over in what I'm told are not always the most ideal driving conditions. Starting with the capitol of Kenya, Nairobi, than heading to a rhino sanctuary, a baboon site, Mount Kenya, the Tana River, and end at the coast. In the short month that I'll be there, I will be traveling and seeing a good portion of the country and hopefully a good amount of wildlife.

I must admit, I am never the most prepared traveler. I have gone to the wrong airport, forgotten passports, and had to run to my gate as they were about to close them to get on the plane. I finally bought my plane ticket a week ago, and that's probably all I'll do for a little while until I get closer to leaving. I love the thrill of not knowing what I'm getting into and what adventure awaits me, and I know Kenya is going to offer up a lot of surprises.


  1. Wow. Your story about learning of the scholarship at your grandfathers house gave me goose bumps. This scholarship was meant to be yours. I am very excited for you! One thing you must do before your leave... visit your doctor and get any immunizations or travel medicine prescriptions at least a month before leaving.
    I can't wait to read about your experience.

  2. Nicely written. Looking forward to dispatches from Kenya!

  3. I adore you.
    And so your journey continues...