Update: Finishing Semester 1, 2017 plans, and fundraising help!

by - December 15, 2016

I'm sorry I haven't posted for so long.. it's bad. I know. I have been really busy though with uni and coursework and deadlines, but as I write this I have just submitted my final piece of work for this semester! The semester is over which means I am half way through my degree! (Officially, it's not over until after January exams but this is still a scary thought.) I can't believe it's been a year and a half already, but I also sometimes can't remember my life before uni. And to think I didn't know some of my now closest friends two years ago, is ridiculous.
I am now 20! I had my 20th birthday last week, and it was fabulous, and now that it's over I am fully embracing the Christmas spirit. 
I have been absolutely loving Planet Earth 2. This documentary is a cut above the rest, and the footage they've caught it outstanding. I cannot pick a favourite bit (I know David Attenborough's favourite is the snow leopard - I can see why). I absolutely love everything David Attenborough does, and this really has changed the face of wildlife documentaries, and is possibly the greatest series yet. 
I also met Albina Hume, wife of John Hume, for lunch in London recently. It was incredible to meet her, and she is a lovely, inspiring woman. She told me so many amazing stories of life on the largest rhino breeding farm in the world, and sadly some of the darker sides of the conservation world. It seems that she faces some strong opinions, and some not nice people like to make it clear what they think of her. Luckily she is an incredibly strong woman, just like so many other female conservationists I know, and she can't be deterred from fighting for what she believes in. 

A big thing I want to share with you is my summer plans for 2017. Surprise surprise, I'm heading back to Africa. I am joining an Opwall expedition for 6 weeks to work on a Black Rhino population and ranging patterns project, to collect data for my dissertation in my third year of uni! I am so excited and pleased that I can centre my dissertation around rhino conservation and monitoring, and I can't wait to be back in the bush. 
I am planning to stay in South Africa for longer than 6 weeks, and visit some other friends and reserves, but nothing more is finalised yet. 
I am going to blog my trip (obviously) and I'm going to blog the planning. I am officially in fundraising mode to pay for it - it's not cheap but I am hoping to raise the full amount. I'm here to ask for help. If anyone has any tips on fundraising, or has done a similar thing before please get in touch!! I welcome any help at all! Equally, if anyone knows of any grants I could apply for, or ways I could get donations to get me to Africa to help work on this project for the critically endangered Black Rhino, I would hugely appreciate it!

I am back and will be blogging regularly again; as always, send in requests and I will do my best to write about what you want to read about, as well as keeping you updated on my fundraising journey! If you're interested in hearing more about my lunch with Mrs Hume, or my thoughts on the challenges she faces let me know! I would love to write a post about some inspiring people I know in the conservation industry, if that's something you would want to see.
Here are some photos from the first semester of year 2, including my birthday!

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