Life Lessons Learned in the Serengeti

25 Oct

I just got back from an amazing camping excursion in Serengeti National Park (SNP), Tz. Our days were filled with traveling lectures, game drives and relaxing in the wilderness of Africa. My experience in Serengeti has taught me a lot of life lessons, some I already knew and others were brought to a new perspective.

Life: It’s a bumpy road and you always need a good support system.

The roads into and inside of SNP were the bumpiest I’ve ever encountered. Our bodies were constant being jostled around and it left us feeling sore and stiff the next day. Also, I wish I had brought a decent sports bra. It was much-needed!

In life, few things are truly within your control. You cope with what comes your way. At times, it gets to hard and this is exactly the time that you lean of the supportive people in your life.

Someone Always Has Your Back

Our campsite was literally in the middle of SNP. At night, it was not uncommon for hyena, buffalo and lion to walk through camp but I was never afraid or uncomfortable because we had the best protection ever: Askari (guard) Bura. Bura is the funniest man I have ever met and his carefree personality is contagious. This is not to say that he doesn’t take his job seriously. He always joked about “hyena bash bash” but one night in the Serengeti, he actually hit a hyena that he felt was a danger to the unsuspecting sleepers. He is courageous and caring. No better combination.

Sometimes, you may feel like it’s you against the world but there is always someone who has your back, even if you don’t know they’re there.

Don’t Let Anyone Ruin Your Good Time; Find a Redeeming Quality They May Have

The drive to Serengeti took about six hours and I was stuck in a car with a girl I cannot stand. I was also with her three more times during the trip. There is just something about her voice…but I didn’t let that ruin my experience. I coped with her tendencies and actually enjoyed some of the funny things she said.

I can’t imagine the life I would have if I let all the bad moments and annoying people get to me. You have to find the best in every situation; otherwise you’ll end up miserable!

Sometimes You Have to Give in to Your Inner Child and Throw Your Hands in the Air

Game drives have become my favorite part of being in Africa. We go to the national parks, pop the tops off the trucks and stand on our seats. It’s the best feeling to be driving fast, with your hands in the air and feel the wind brush over your skin.

Sometimes we take for granted the things we did when we were kids. Stick you hand out the window and ride the wind. It’s still just as cool as it was when you were 7.

Sometimes, You Feel Like a Superhero

One day, we were driving so fast in our trucks that we were able to lean forward with our arms outstretched. Each of us decided what superhero we were going to be. I was “The Animal Avenger”, the poacher ass kicker.

As silly as my experience was, I do feel like I can be a superhero someday. I came to Africa to learn about wildlife and the management practice that conservation entails. I will be able to apply the skills and knowledge I’ve gathered to better the world for both people and animals.

Commit Everything to Memory

You should take a second out of your day, your week, your month, to just think about what you’ve done and how it has affected you. Tanzania has provided me with the most unique experiences ever. There hasn’t been a single thing that isn’t worth remembering. Tomorrow, I will be switching to the Kenya camp. I’m excited for new scenery and more treasured moments.

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