After coming to CCF last summer with Earth Expeditions for a graduate school class, I couldn’t help but fall in love with the organization and the wonderful staff! There are so many amazing projects taking place here everyday, from goat milk soap to Bushblok, and I have never seen a better example of true community-based conservation. CCF strives to involve local people in every aspect of their work and really share their passion for cheetahs with those in the area as well as around the world.
With such love in my heart for this place and a desire to help save the cheetah, I returned to CCF for 3 weeks this summer as a Working Guest. This time I got a better idea of what it really takes to keep a large non-profit afloat. There are dozens of people working hard day and night to help CCF and the cheetah succeed. I am so proud of each and every one of them for the immense effort they put in daily!
Even though it was my second trip here, there were many first experiences for me this time around. I milked a goat, crated and moved two cheetahs, was yelled at by a Kudu, hunted for glittery cheetah scat, got to feel like I was flying with vultures, threw donkey ribs over a fence, was attacked by cute baby goats, got to hear a ram with a baa that sounds like a burp, watched a giraffe drink for 20 minutes during a waterhole count, had to quickly devise a plan for counting the herd of 47 elands at another waterhole count, dabbled in giving tours to visitors at the center, and met new friends from all over the world.
Needless to say, I am a supporter of CCF and hope to be back again someday! There are tasks at the center that I still haven’t done, many things I could learn, and local species I have yet to see, so I have a feeling that my time in Namibia is not up quite yet! My last two birthdays were spent in Namibia, so maybe third time’s the charm…