Friday, January 21, 2011

January 20, 2011

Today, we entered the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, a UNESCO (United Nations Environmental Scientific and Cultural Organization) world heritage site. The day started off with a bang when we witnessed two cheetahs prowling near a herd of zebra. When we stopped for a quick break, one of the students was shocked to discover a black faced vervet monkey stealing a juice box from their truck! We saw lions, elephants (females and calves, which rarely enter the crater), black rhino, spotted hyena and hippos (out of the water). We also saw hundreds of zebra, wildebeest and buffalo. The wildlife students learned to identify many different species and how to conserve of African Wildlife. At the same time the photography group learned how to documentary wildlife in its natural environment. We have learned together that knowing the behavior of your subject makes for more interesting photos of wildlife and a better understanding of the wildlife. Upon arrival at our campsite on the Crater rim, we discovered the resident elephants eating trash. It brought up questions about our future and what we can do to create responsible ecotourism, such as implementing policies to develop safer trash disposal methods that doesn’t allow for wildlife to eat it.

PS Ja-Z and KT say to check the UD home page for our group photo, #3 in the slideshow!

Errica Capossela and Dana DeSousa watch as an elephant crosses in front of thier truck in the Ngorongoro Crater.
Photo by: Liz Rudkin


  1. Caitlin,
    I am amazed at all you are seeing and doing. I checked out the Ngorongoro Crater online and it seemed so cool. Wish I was there to see it too. Guess your pictures will have to do. Also looking forward to hearing all the wild stories Great to see you in the video. Looks like you got to get a shower! We miss you lots! Love Dad, Mom, Erin, Kerry, Molly & Joseph

  2. Ahhh Dana!! Our moms are on the phone freaking about this picture!! I'm printing it too!! Can you ride it like in the Bronx zoo?? Hahahah miss you!!!

  3. Spectacular! Was your heart pounding? This picture op must have been over the top and I can't wait to see the hundreds of photos you've taken. I spotted you this morning on the video clip at the marketplace, so I was calling Bobbi to let her know, then she tells me about this picture! What a sight to see! The elephant wasn't bad either :) Miss you lovey. Dios te bendiga mi vida <3

  4. Simply amazing! More snow, ice, and freezing temperatures. KTPU, the Peace Corps has responded and wants you to get finger printed for your security clearance. Sounds like step 2 in the process. Keeping fingers crossed. Love you!
    Mama D

  5. Yooooooo Dana. It's Luke. That picture is really cool. I actually just realized that you could comment. It looks like you are having a great time, I'm looking forward to seeing the pictures. UCONN gave me 3 days off this week, 2 snow days and MLK day. It was a good way to start off the semester. I miss you a lot, please come home in one piece. Hi to all the other wildlifers, hope everyone is well. Love you Dany. You're cute?

  6. THE ELEPHANT IS HUGE!!! im pretty sure you guys have seen bigger... i have to admit since this little adventure started i find my self watching a lot of National geographics and animal planet lol... joy if u can bring me somehing back. nothing u have to buy... just something u find. i miss you alots cant wait to see u on the 2nd... i love you

  7. Elizabeth - Oh my goodness! The "hippo whisperer" is going to be mighty jealous at all you have seen today. If she could blink and be there with you she would in an instant. Taking in the sights as well as learning about conservation. It is all so-o-o overwhelming. Great photo by the way! Love you

  8. This is one of many attempts to blog.

  9. Elizabeth, Félicitations pour tes photos! Elles sont absolument superbes! Enorme l'éléphant, immense le ciel... Je suis émerveillée!

    Love You Liz

  10. Ok, it worked. Looks like you are having the adventure of a lifetime. Jake, Lee would like you to bring him a new type of exoskeleton. Ethan is starting to enjoy sledding. I have been reviewing some brochures on spa vacations (ha ha).

  11. Jake, something happened to one of the sentences. Lee wants that exoskeleton to taste.

  12. Wow - What great luck and a great photo.... So close. I bet you could have used it's help the other day to get the truck out of the mud. Thanks for the picture of the trucks too!!!! I was wondering what you guys were riding in. It is so exciting to read and see what you are encountering. Keep the photo's and blogging coming! Love ya Liz R! Dad.

  13. Hi Liz, this is Theo.

    I like to look at the blog everyday. I'd like to be in Tanzania with you and my mommy. I love your pictures, they are really amazing!

    I have a lot of questions:

    Liz, Liz, What do you see?
    Liz, Liz, What do you hear?
    Liz, Liz, What do you smell?

    Liz, Liz, How does it feel?

    Do the fruits taste the same?

    At night, are there a lot of stars in the sky?
    Is daylight the same?

    What about the air you breathe?

    Are the people nice?
    Do they speak French?

    How many different animals did you see?
    How many did you eat?

    Did you really climb up a tree like a monkey?

    I would like to discover everything

    I miss you
    I love you
    Hugs and Kisses
    From Theo

    PS: A kiss and a BIG hug from NouNou and Woody too!

  14. Holy smokes! that is a big elephant Liz! Thats so cool, I cant wait to see the rest of you're pictures! I miss you. Love Calvin

  15. Kaitlyn B. Wow amazing to hear of all the wildlife you have seen. can't wait to see your pics and hear your stories of your travels. Stay safe & continue to have fun. luv momma

  16. Great picture Liz! Merveilleuse aventure!
    A new dimension to your view of the world, humanity and nature. Enjoy!

  17. Errica!! Getting up close and personal with the elephants! How cool is that? We all miss you, especially Ali. She says you'd better have room for IHop when you get back. Lots of love, be safe and keep having fun! Mom

  18. Everything is so wild, I love it!
    I'm so happy to see this great picture you took (one of many i'm sure)! The elephant is so cool! :)
    Love you!

  19. Lizzie -

    Sign on jeep: I brake for elephant!!

    What a sighting. Hope you got a good picture too. Sounds like a busy day.


  20. Camille,
    We can't waaaaaait to see the pics! It sounds like you hit pay dirt in that crater! What a sight! I want you to know it is 18 degrees and howling winds. It is suppose to be in the single digits over the weekend. The slush has become frozen rock hard, so enjoy the rest of the month.

    Did you get a picture of a baobab tree?? Also dad and I are wondering if you are in the short video at the end on the right.


    mom and Riley

  21. Hey Sam...Furaha ya kuzaliwa ya 21 Sam ... hii ni siku ya kuzaliwa kamwe kusahau!!!!( thats Swahili for Happy 21st Birthday...this is one you will never forget) I cant believe all the wild life you have seen and all the events that nature has shown you....Is there a cupcake shop to get a special birthday treat or are they making you some kind of buggie delight? love you tons...hugs and kisses AnnMarie

  22. Hey Sam,what a thrill it must be to witness so much beautiful wildlife all in one day.I can't imagine.That elephant is magnificent,but sad to read that it feeds on trash.I hope that monkey enjoyed it's juice box,wonder what else it ran away with.Looking forward to all those fabulous pictures, and the stories to go with them. ONE MORE DAY UNTIL THE BIG 21....YOU'RE NOT OFFICIAL UNTIL 136AM N.Y TIME....LOL MISS YOU, LOVE YOU MORE MOM XOXO


  24. so liz,
    i see majority of our family has discovered this blog but it takes them till your picture is posted to comment. cool family. cool.
    anyways, thats a pretty awesome picture. megan was really mad mom referred to her as the hippo whisperer and refused to post a comment.
    hope all is well.

    ps calvins super lame.

  25. Hi Liz!
    What a photo opp, and I thought buffalo were impressive when they came right up to the car!!! LOL Have another great day-enjoy and don't work too hard!
    Mom and Mocha

  26. Hi Jasmine it must be exhilarating to see so much wildlife in their natural habitat. Good that you are seeing first hand and talking about the impacts that humans are having on these beautiful creatures. Enjoy the sights and warm weather! its freezing cold here! Love mom! xox

  27. Hi Megan! Yikes....lions and tigers and bears, oh my! What an awesome sight it must be to see all these animals out in the wild. I'm loving it for you! Keep those pictures near and dear -- we'll want to see them when you get back. Love you always, Mom and Dad

  28. Dearest Sam,It's THE DAY you've been waiting for all year.Happy 21st Birthday.A special year and what a glorious way to celebrate, in the Serengeti. Enjoy it to the fullest and hope you found the time to party.Did you leave the HYRAX LIVER BEHIND? I have to ask you that annual question. Samantha, DO YOU FEEL ANY OLDER? LOL.....TTUL....You're in our hearts and minds always..LOVE AND KISSES .... Mom,Dad,Gabriel,and the 5 Furry Creatures..

  29. Happy Birthday Sammy!!! Hope you had a wonderful day!!! Bring me home an elephant, please!!! Love you and miss you lots!! 21 Casino here we come!!! Love, Your Sister, Freda and David :)

  30. Hi Marissa,
    First of all, Congrats to all of you on making the UD homepage. We think this means that all of you can add “UD spokes model” to your resumes.
    We are glad to hear you got to see so many different kinds of wildlife in the crater. Though I have to admit when I saw your itinerary and saw you were going to see animals in a crater, I kept thinking Jurassic Park for some reason. Glad to see it was far from the case and you were not eaten by T-Rex. It really is so wonderful to get to see how these animals behave in their own habitat and not just in a zoo.
    We were also glad to hear you got a chance to take a real shower and see the village in Karatu. It is always interesting to see how different cultures live, both in the wilderness and also in their towns. I still think you should have taken my 100 Trillion Dollar Zimbabwe bill with you. Even with the exchange rate you could have been the queen of the market place.
    Well, we have rambled on enough. Glad to hear you are having such a great experience. Everyday bringing such a wonderful new adventure. Have fun and be safe.

    Shmatt (Shana and Matt) .. we were thinking of dropping the ‘M’, but we decided we probably should not.

    P.S. Shana wanted to be mean and let you know we saw a CiCi’s commercial while typing this up.

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