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#DispatchesDNLee: 4 Weeks in Tanzania and checking in

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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Dispatches from Tanzania (art work by @Lalsox)

Dispatches from Tanzania (art work by @Lalsox)

Karibu!

I woke up Friday morning and realized that have been here 4 weeks already!  Time flies way too quickly.  I have been getting some success with the capture-mark-recapture study, but suddenly I started to feel panicky and that I hadn’t done nearly enough before I would need to leave in 6 weeks!  I don’t have enough data!  And I’ve also been trying to do some observational studies of panyabukuu (Swahili for Giant Pouched Rats) and I haven’t been able to get that mini-project off of the ground yet. Panic has started setting in.  These are the anxieties of field biologists.

Pouched Rat in a Trap, caught by me.

In the meantime, I must admit that Tanzania is a most beautiful place. Very sorry I haven’t been able to post as much or as often as I wanted lately  I am working on it. The internet access isn’t as smooth as what I am use to, BUT I do have it. So I am thankful.

It costs Tsh 10,000 or Tanzanian Shillings (about $6 USD) for unlimited internet access for 3 days for my PC tablet. My iPad access costs Tsh 30,000 for unlimited access and that is good for 30 days.  However, nothing is promised. Sometimes one or both networks go offline for moments, hours, even days unexpectedly and for unknown reasons. Between the two devices I am able to maintain some access to home, some emails, but mostly via Twitter and Facebook updates.  Get real time updated by following the hashtag #DispatchesDNLee or follow me at @DNLee5. Also view all of the Weekly photo albums at the Facebook Fan page.

This is a perfect time to thank donors. Asante sana (thank you very much) to all of you have contributed and prayed for me. You all have really made me smile and have made my day – in more ways than one.  And I don’t discount prayers. I’ve had more than a few close calls and I am sure it was your prayers (and well wishes) that kept me safe and sane.

I’ve also been taking Swahili lessons, Tsh 10,000 a week. I’m learning a lot, but I’m still very slow in the reacting. Thankfully, Tanzanian people very, very patient and forgiving. I just want you all to know I appreciate the gifts and how I’m using your donations. Please, please continue to ask questions about the research and the journey. I love answering your questions.

So far video Skype calls (and even audio calls) can be iffy. They drop a lot. But I’m still hoping to figure things out. I would love to host a video chat sometime soon. Keep your fingers crossed.

And who wants a postcard from Tanzania?  Family? Friends? How about your classroom?  I know school has started for many in the United States and maybe you want something special to prompt those lessons in geography, social studies, science, African Studies, etc.  All you need to do is drop the mailing address in the official (and secure) Dispatches from Tanzania Postcard  request form.

I've got plenty of stamps, so please don't be shy about postcard requests.

Finally, thank you so much for your generosity and if you would like to donate, the link below will take you to my Paypal page.

Badaaye!
Dada DNLee
DNLee About the Author: DNLee is a biologist and she studies animal behavior, mammalogy, and ecology . She uses social media, informal experiential science experiences, and draws from hip hop culture to share science with general audiences, particularly under-served groups. Follow on Twitter @DNLee5.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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