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

Thursday, December 13, 2012

GPS training in the middle of nowhere!

I was fortunate enough to spend a week in the small village of Kasaani in Tsavo. GVI had quite a busy week planned for us before we arrived in Kasaani. For two days, a group of Community Rangers who are ex-poachers camped with us, and we would provided GPS, camera, binocular, radio and team building training to aid them in their job of protecting and conserving the environment close to them. A total of 22 Rangers came for the training. I jumped on teaching the GPS because I had previous experience using one, and felt confident that I could teach others to use one too.

Volunteer answering questions
On the last night the nine of us from GVI sat around the fire and discussed our best highlight of the trip. The entire trip was so incredible so choosing one thing was tough but mine happened on the last day of GPS training with the Rangers. After completing the last lecture on GPS use we had a game to provide practical experience. They were informed that there were animals and various forms of human disturbances that were drawn on pieces of paper and placed in specific positions in the area surrounding the camp and they had to locate them using the GPS. They all huddled together straining to see the small GPS screen and excitedly began their efforts to navigate to the picture of an elephant hidden between the Tsavo red soil and thorn-bushes. They found it with no trouble which resulted in shouts of happiness, high fives and laughter of which I was privileged and overjoyed to be included in. 

Rangers getting to grips with the GPS
Working with the Rangers and having the opportunity to provide them with a tool that will greatly improve the accuracy of their work was very rewarding and I've never felt so appreciated than as by the Rangers during these training days. 

All smiles during training!
Leah Hull – Conservation Intern