Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Friday, March 9, 2012

Learning about ferocious felines at wildlife club

There are many reasons I adore wildlife club and not just because it has its own amazing theme song. It presents an opportunity to teach the kids in a more relaxed setting, typically outside under the shade of a big tree.  It is also one of the activities that both community and conservation almost always collaborate on. This week wildlife club’s topic is big cats in Kenya for which Sarah; one of our beloved conservation staff in Shimoni who happens also to be a talented artist, prepared a spectacular poster. It is my first week back in Shimoni after my five week stay on Wasini Island and so this is my first wildlife club in a while.

Shimoni Primary Wildlife Club

We begin at Matunda Bora, by we I refer to me, Sophie and Linnea, where the students are always keen to learn. We start off by learning some interesting facts about these ferocious felines and we cram as much information as we can into our allotted time slot as well as some relevant videos and a game or quiz. Then it is off to Shimoni primary where, after reading with the kids in the library, we undertake our second wildlife club of the day with the benefit of more time. The kids are engaged; they listen, watch the videos and play the games enthusiastically.

After we have finished I turn my head to see a boy followed in quick succession by other kids, leap over and clear a stick held by their classmates. For their size this is quite a feat and I grow more curious as the sticks is raised higher and higher. Yet more eager participants run and bound over the stick with incredible dexterity. Eventually I am noticed watching from the sidelines; a boy shouts “Mr. Mike, play!” I look at the stick and the coral ridden floor and knowing it is a bad idea I remove my shoes, run and jump. To my credit I cleared the stick and landed on the other side with a little less grace than the other competitors. I found the game actually quite fun and with childish giddiness I play several more rounds until it was time for me to leave.  

Mike Hilton
Community Volunteer