20.1. Workshop with rangers

 

Our Thursday morning started per usual with great breakfast at the station and a little briefing of what was ahead of us during the day. The plan was to have a workshop with rangers from Lumo and Taita Wildlife Sanctuary and to get to know their background and profession better. We were divided into three groups that focused on different things. The themes were socio-economic background, duties and responsibilities of their job and challenges of conservation in the area. When we got into the bus and began our journey, each group discussed and planned their questions beforehand.

Professor Pellikka giving a presentation.

The workshop was organised in the hotel that we had already visited earlier because of the pool but today we opted for the auditorium. Before our workshop took place, professor Pellikka gave a presentation about the Taita Research Station and about the research that is going on there.

After short introduction from the rangers themselves and Enrico’s briefing of the workshop, each group went with one group of rangers and dived into the topics. We had half an hour with each group and then we moved on to the next one. Talking with the rangers and hearing their stories was extremely interesting. We talked for example about their motivation in becoming rangers and about their main duties as rangers. Their work consists of for example guarding the national parks from poachers, counting the animals, and educating the communities. In the middle of our workshop session, we had a nice coffee/tea break outside in the warm and sunny weather with some delicious snacks.

After getting to talk with all the rangers, each group prepared a simple poster summarising the session and presented it to all. It was great to hear what other groups had talked about and what kind of similar and different points everyone picked up.

After the workshop we stuffed ourselves back to the dear bus and headed to Mwadime’s farm.

Exploring the farm.

He and his family welcomed us warmly and even served us lunch. After the delicious and fulfilling food, we got a tour around the farm. Mwadime told us about the crops and livestock he has and also about different tools they have been using when measuring for example fluxes and soil temperature.

Mwadime telling us about his farm.
Some of the students tasted Moringa seeds that are used for example for purifying water.
Flux tower at the farm.
Cute donkey.

One of the most surprising things of the day was that we were at the station before dark! Usually our days stretched out late into the evening. Returning early was great since we had still delicious plans for the evening as Professor Di Minin made and taugh us how to make pizza!

Yummy pizza!

It was once again lovely to eat outside and enjoy the great atmosphere. We even got to witness a birthday cake surprise that the station’s kitchen staff had prepared for one of the students who had their birthday that day. Another memorable day behind us! <3

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