Jacob Mueti Ngwava reflects on the skills he has learnt and the challenges he has faced during the month long EDGE Conservation Tools training course… Each day between the 22nd October and 18th November has been unlike any other. Some days we’ve experienced ‘friendly’ modules like the principles of conservation biology; exploring diverse concepts that explain biodiversity and conservation. Some days we’ve experienced less friendly modules… I guess not many people fall in love with statistics at the first glance!!!
We’ve been challenged to work with local communities (vital for conservation) by deploying a questionnaire in the neighboring community and we’ve discovered how difficult this can be, especially when translating questions into local languages. Some of the interviewees looked at us with skepticism, some refused to engage with the questioning all together, some were eager to co-operate. All interactions were useful experiences and prepared us for future interactions with local communities. As the month was coming to an end, we were ushered to Shimba Hills National Reserve for the most exciting of expeditions. To me, there is no better experience than interacting with nature. It is a wonderful experience to wake up before day break and search for Kenya’s wildlife. On the wooded grasslands of Shimba Hills, there is a lot to see including sable antelope; impala; warthog; buffalo; giraffe; and, if you’re lucky, elephants. Having completed our search for Shimba’s mega-fauna, we took to the forests and worked tirelessly combing through the leaf litter, hoping to discover a couple of frogs or a few snakes. And now we are ready to return home, fully equipped conservation biologists, empowered to confidently pursue our careers. Thanks to our knowledgeable mentors. I lack words to express my gratitude to you. You have made our stay at Makongeni Camp a memorable experience. Your kindness, patience and willingness to help at all times will forever be remembered. The EDGE Conservation Tools training course forms part of the EDGE Fellowship programme – to learn more click HERE