Oh, summer. I love summer. I was sad when I realized last year that I'd have to miss most of summer at home to be here in Ukenzagapia for field work. Don't get me wrong, Ukenzagapia is beautiful, sunny, and warm but it's not the same as summer back home. I'd just rather be here during the Northern Hemisphere winter. However, it's just one summer and I've come to terms with it.
For all intents and purposes, this is my summer. It's hard to believe that my first field season is almost over and I'll be returning to the comfort of my home and husband in just two weeks. If I were to do this field season over again, there are definitely several things I'd do differently, but overall I'm satisfied with what I've been able to accomplish. I also got to explore some places other than Nyota when I wasn't collecting data which has helped broaden my perspective of African ecology, natural history, and conservation.
This is the point during summer when I usually think, Oh my gosh where did summer go? I still have so much to do- summer can't end yet! Even in Ukenzagapia this is crunch time. I've got several days of data collection left, and I'm not sure yet exactly when I'll leave my field site. My last possible day in the field is August 11, but if I can wrap things up sooner I will. I'm also thinking ahead for what needs to be done this fall (my review paper, grant applications, data analysis...) and trying to get my ducks in a row for that to go smoothly.
I'm excited to return home. I hope I get to enjoy the spirit of summer for a while after I get back. Fall is already shaping up to be very busy.