I can get so carried away with doing that I forget to sit back sometimes and just take it all in, let alone write about it and get it online.
It is November and I have just uprooted and moved myself over 5600 miles to Lilongwe, Malawi where I will be the Research Manager for African Bat Conservation (ABC) for the foreseeable. A really exciting opportunity both professionally and personally. Time to live a more basic life per se but so much more immersed in bat work and to conduct applied research in the warm heart of Africa. I first came to ABC in May 2017 as part of my MRes research when at Nottingham Trent University, but more on that another time.
I touched down in Lilongwe and was picked up by Andrew (the ABC airport driver whom I had met in previous years) and taken back to basecamp! After meeting the rest of the team, students and volunteers we packed the vehicle and headed out for our first bat survey as a new team! We had a really good survey and I was so stoked to be back in Malawi. The Team (Dominique, Tom and Joan) brought me to a Biodiversity Monitoring Project (BMP) site I had never been to before and we caught a bat I had never seen before, a first for Lilongwe City also, the Egyptian slit faced bat Nycteris thebaica which is so super cool! Hopefully first of many firsts to come…
A few nights in we actually had a night off so we headed down to Kumbali for sundowners* and despite how busy I know we are going to be over the coming months I do hope we get some good fun time in too! Everyone seems really cool and it is fun being back here at the Urban Base Camp, so happy to start this new chapter! To top it off the Team also welcomed me with a crate of beer and proper Malawi coffee… I think we are going to get on well!
If you want to find out more about African Bat Conservation and all the great work in applied conservation research happening go to: www.africanbatconservation.org/ or follow them on Facebook and Instagram to see up to date posts and stories!
*(For those of you that don’t know that is watching the sunset with a drink and your buds and watch a beautiful sunset).