Conservation Management Trainees, George (left) and Sam
The undulating hills laced with eucalyptus and Markhamia lutea trees, peaks of granite rocks, and green valleys of corn and Napier grass I see in western Kenya today are now a pale shadow of the lush green hills and valleys, bushy grazing fields, and slowly flowing rivers that adorned the area 31 years ago when l was born.
With the world's many environmental challenges, we need youth to actively participate in finding solutions. Not when they become adults- their time is now! The same is true in IGCP's operational area, where a growing human population is sharing the region with the critically-endangered mountain gorilla.
As a child, I spent a lot of time exploring woods in England and France—anything living fascinated me, and I had a strong need to explore and have adventures. Much later, based on this interest, I went to university to study biology.
Albert Ndlovu, who works on one of the Timbavati properties, poses for a picture with student Lars Sund. Albert assisted AWF with setting up cameras at our Timbavati site while Lars gained valuable field experience.
Two of my Senegalese brothers and I pose for a photo in Mermoz before heading to the annual Fete de Mouton. Photo courtesy of Amy Rizzotto.
Like many of my peers at the George Washington University, I was dedicated to the idea of studying abroad during my junior year. Hungry for a challenge, I decided to stray from the pack and avoid Europe altogether. Looking back, it’s hard to pinpoint the catalyst, but when it came time to apply there was only one place I wanted to go: Senegal.