Let’s start at the beginning – our time in Botswana came to an end – which ment – exams! In 2019 I did my Bachelor in Marketing & Communication. I had to study for 3 years to get my Bachelor’s Degree… Back then I hated to always stay in the building and I loved to study outside… That didn’t change – I still loved to be able to learn in the middle of the bush – but the heat – the heat was at times unbearable. And we had nothing to cool down, no cold building, no cold shower, no icecream… and believe me we tried eeeverything… Our only relieve was „the tower-shower“ – once a day, our water Tower where we store the water for the whole camp – was full and overspilled until someone from the camp drove 5 minutes out and cut the line to stop the water from flowing… So in the middle of studying – someone screamed: „Tower-Shower“ and we ran and just stood with our cloth under the overflooding water from 10m high… Highlight of the day!
We studied a lot, tried to remember everything and save all the details it in our brains. At one point, after listening for an hour to bird calls I had to study „Alarm Calls of Animals“ like Impala or Buffalo etc. I listened one after one… how the wildebeest sounds like, how a rhino sounds like… and guess what… Buffalo and Wildebeest almost sound the same… and me and my friend were sitting there trying to teach each other the spunds: „no buffalo sounds like „muuuuh“ and wildebeest mor.like.“moooh“.“ And at one point – I just sat there and thought: What the hell am I doing here? How crazy am I? I am just sitting here and trying to remeber akward sounds of animals… It didn’t stop me from learning it for half an hour more…
Exam week was exhausting, sitting in the heat and writing & concentrating for hours. We were all very happy and relieved when we were finished. And yeeesss I passed all my exams! Because of organizational problems we couldn’t do our practical assessment… but no break for us either. Next up was a course called „Basic-Birding“ where we learned more about Birds and of course learned again more calls!
How to learn Bird-Calls you ask? Make up storyies donkeybridges, and try to immitate the call. My Tent-Buddy is now perfectionist in doing Dove-Calls! 😉 There is a Dove that makes a call saying: „my mother is dead, my father is dead, everyone is dead,dead,dead…. or the orange brested bushrike sings: „Coffee, Tea or me?“ Or the yellpw breasted Apalis sounds like a real DJ scatching „cds“… I guess for people never listening to bord calls it sounds crazy and makes no sense.. for me it is now absolutly clear when I walk through the bush and here someone singing: „Coffee Tea or me?“
After a week full of birds it was time to leave Botswana and go back to South Africa. After 13 Exams we earned our holidays. Well holidays… I couldn’t get emough of the bush and chose to stay in nature. What I experienced during my time as a volunteer with the Selati Research Team I will save for the next blog