vervet_monkey: (Adoonsie)
I'm home! And wishing I was still there of course... but never mind lets not mention that!

Amazing few months, everything had changed and nothing had all at once. And Daktari was a great project with great kids and animals and really great management! May possibly already be looking at next summers adventure (tracking elephants in Zambia anyone?)

My head is obivously still in Africa as i dreamt that there was a leopard in camp last night. Not that strange a dream, one came and ate one of the guinea fowl when I was there and i got an e-mail the day I got home to tell me that the baby duiker we had been raising was eaten the night I left... (which of course was just the welcome home i needed!) but still not a huge danger in Milton Keynes I feel...

Moving back down to southampton next sunday, ready to go off to Ireland on Tuesday, for more conservation related fun! Quite looking forward to getting back to Uni, although as ususal a little dubious as to how I'm going to manage living with friends, I do tend to like my own space... but the course next year looks good, only one course i'm not looking forward too in semester 1, although unfortunatly that course does have its lectures 9amon a monday and 5pm on a friday... which will not help matters I'm sure! Other than that my timetable is looking good, A couple of hours each morning, which will ge me out of bed and in working mind for the rest of the day, wednesdays off and most thursdays too, once I've done my labs. Fridays are 9 till 6 with an hour for lunch... but I can't complain too much hey!
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Exam time!

But actually everything appears to be going pretty well. My exams are really nicely spread out, with one exam this friday then nothing till the 8th of june. This does mean that I am here for quite a while as people start to move off home, but hey, it gives me more revision time (most people finish this week, I've not even started)

Have been forcing routine on myself. And its working really well. Including setting my alarm for 8 am every morning for the past week and a half, which was creul to begin with (although I did used to get up at 7.15 every weekday morning, so I don't quite know what I'm complaining about!!) but actually quite nice to be up before everyone. And in bed by 10, laying down to sleep by 11, meaning 8am alarms are after 9 hours sleep, which is more than enough. Set myself revision timetable which helps me immencsely. I think becuase I can tick off when I've done the revision, so I can see what I've done, rather than just being time that doesn;t actually produce anything (other than good exam grades!) Am happy with the majority of my ecology stuff (the exam on friday) and have even managed to memorize some studies and examples, along with a few latin names!

It is a very lonely time to be at Uni though. Everything stops. No conservation tasks or socials, haven't even been out with firends as they are all busy studying. Which I am too, obivously, but as I am revising by 8.30 most days, I feel I can stop by about 7pm. If only everyone else worked on the same clock! Majority of flat have all there exams this week too, meaning its a stressful place to be, and for some reason prompting my neighbour to turn his music up louder than it has been all year, that I don't really understand, but hey. Do hwever have riding still! Yay! So thats some release at least.

Am considering doing friendly leagues next year too. I had a lesson with the beginners last week and was talking to one of the girls there. She has musculr dystrophy and previous to uni had ridden with the RDA. For about 10 years. And she has this thing that she can't do anything. She refuses to canter, even though she is perfectly cabable. We got her jumping last week and she didn't stop ravig about it on the way home, but spent the entire lesson saying it was never going to happen. And it kinda made me think I do the same thing. I can jump 2'6" I've done it before, and really ,worst case senerio, i fall off and feel like and idiot. They're the friendly leagues, nothing at stake, so why the hell not? Was also talking to the girl that now runs them (also called Michaela...) who had never jumped a horse before, and just gave it a go this year. At least I;ve done more than that!!

Lewis is filling in his application form for the fire service. Don't ask where that came from, we don't know either, but hey. Never can tell with lewis whether he'll get it or not. But he was having a bit of a mission filling in his form, as he doesn't do anything. I mean, marital arts for the past couple of years, but he never did Duke of Edinbrough, or volunteered, or mentored or any life experience thing. So he's stuck saying the same thing over and over, 'I was at school and...' 'I was doing martial arts and...' but if he gets to interveiw stage he'll prob go stright through it, he normally does!

Also spent today trying to get my TB test sorted. Its a mission, they don't seem to beleive me that I need one, keep telling me I;ve had my BCG so I don't have TB. I know I don't have TB, but I have to prove it! Grrrr.
vervet_monkey: (Default)

Dollhouse renewed, YAY!

Other than that... ummmm?

Drowning in revision. Ended up writing revision time table so i actually do some work. I'm fine once I get going, but its that initial sit down for the first hour that I struggle with. But I'm not doing too badly, and although some of it I'm like 'wow, I had no idea' the majority i know already, which is always good!

Unfortunatly with it being exam time everything else is being put on hold. No more conservation till the resi after exams, no more organised socials, although I'd imagine we'll be out at least once or twice before exams finish! Riding is carrying on, thankfully! But I do think I may go mad before I'm finished. Just sitting here working does not make for the most fun in the world.

Not too long now till South Africa again, which is exciting! I can't wait to get back there.

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A TB test in Southampton hospital costs £154. In MK hospital it's £52. Am I the only one wondering what exactly Hampshire are spending that £100 on? Its a chest x-ray. Both are completly privite, they won't do mine on the NHS (Well, they might if i can convince my doctor...) how? How can they possibly justify charging 3 times as much?? Thankfully I can get mine done in MK, I have an address there, but what if I couldn't?

As a family we have privite health insurance (With an excess of £50 so no use here) because we figure that we can afford it, so why should we use up NHS resources. I have no problems with privite medicine. But this is a privite procedure in an NHS hospital, so surely there should be a national cost? I can't beleive that Hampshire have to pay 3 times as much as Buckinghamshire for an x-ray on the NHS, why should privite patients be any differant?

Southampton hosptial also have the most annoying phone system in the world. I had to press a hundred million differant buttons and wait for literally about 15 mins before i even go a person, not even the person I wanted, then they cut me off and I had to start all over again. MK I called and got straight to a person who put me through. Easy.
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Exam results today. 73.75%! Woot. (70% = first) And aren't you impressed how not nervous i was! I acutally wasn't until I stepped into my tutors office, not even when I was killing time before I could go get them!

Still not entirely sure what I'm feeling. Arthur was a great guy and a great personality, even if we differed greatly in opinion. I find it hard to imagine the foundation without him and his 'morning morning' and tie round his head. Trying to work out how to give the monekys the right treatment, while making sure he didn't go over board. Driving him round and round letstelie (wow I can't spell that anymore) to get parts for the car, construction parts and I think just so he could go visiting, while elaving me sat in the car, but always being given a cold can of coke or something on the way home, like I was a small child being given a treat for being good. And the spontaneous hug and confusion that I was leaving, not staying as a long termer, and being made to promise to return when I climbed out of the Kombi to say goodbye on my last day, already with tears streaming down my face.

Hmmm. I don't know. I'm not sad particually... or well, I am, obivously, but not so that its affecting me overly, its just kind of making me think alot...
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Wanted to keep this post seperate from the one below.

Don't really know what's going to be going on at VMF now... theres likely a power struggle type thing going on. When i was there I rarely saw Dave with the monkeys, he kept the money in order and kept things running smoothly, but I remember being shocked when he occasionally ventured down to see the monkeys. So I can't imagaine things going through him the way they did through Arthur. He goes to work all day for a start... And I also can't see many of the long termers making the transition too well either... they'll be some fighting for what happens now. Josie is in all the time but shes quite ill, so thats not practical.

People knew how to work with Arthur. How to either word things right to get him to agree or to do it under the radar...

Hopefully the monkeys will win out. Hopefully...
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In memory of Arthur Hunt

Arthur Hunt set up the VMF in 1993 alongside Dave DuToit. Together they built up the foundation, played a mojor role in getting the Vervet Monkey taken off the vermin list and worked to educate the South African community to respect the species. He died yesturday on 18th Febuary.

He clashed heads with many volunteers about his methods and opinions (including me many many times). And he certainly had some strange ideas about the state of the world and how it all came about.

But anyone that has seen him enter sickbay with a bag of jelly beans to treat his faveourite patients, seen him sit with monkeys that would rip anyone else entering the cage to peices and just talk to them,can't hold his methods against him. His heart was in the right place. And the monkeys were the most important part of his life. Without him there would be no VMF, and all those monkeys would be dead or dying in misrable condictions.

He was a crazy crazy man, but he did good.
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AGH!!! I'm going back! I'm going to stay in that beatiful hostel in Jo'burg, going to take that hellish bus journey across South Africa and I'm going back! I'm going to see those beautiful amazing monkeys again and meet all those wonderful people, and lots of new ones. I'm going to look forward to sniztel night and and I want to go now!!!!!!!!!!!! To sleep in leaky leaky tents and grumble about food and get covered in monkey poo and spend hours and hours driving back and forth collecting water and showering in under a minute and ohhhhh, I'm so excited!

*dances round room in a manic waving fashion nearly but not quite knocking things over*

OK... exam went ok this morning, more confident about yesturdays but I got the essay I wanted again! One more to go!
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First exam this morning went really well. The multiple choice wasn't impossible (They have a habit of being so incredibley specific that you just have to hope to luck out and get something you remember perfectly) and the essay question they asked was the one I wanted. Plus I had a really long time for the essay, as the multiple chioce didn't take as long as I thought, which was good as I could think and do it slowly.

Got the results from the percertion test last week too. 64%. 6% lower than I should be getting (70% is a first) but still well above the grade needed to pass, and its only worth 10% of one module, 1.25% of the year, so that 6% actually becomes... 0.06%? or 0.6%? Either way a tiny amount that will have no effect by the end of the year. (Its must be closer to 0.06% actually.... there we go, 0.075%. Tiny was what I was getting at!)

Paid the deposit for conservation school! Ack, makes me want to go now. Read over my travelling blog last night too, so I dreamt of VMF all night. It was very dissapointing to wake up to my alarm not telling me to go monitoring, but to go take an exam! Ah well, if all goes to plan I'll be back there in...22 weeks! (Although how I am going to manage to leave again I don't know... I've booked the school afterwards in the hope that I'll get excited over that instead!)
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Oh I hate it when its nearly the end of term but its not quite the end of term and everyone starts getting bouncy about the end of term but it takes sooooo long to get here!

Spent my evening today playing battle ships over the radio. Twas quite good fun! We actully spent much of the evening working out a radio friendly way of saying 'fire' that wouldn't make people think we were terrorists... we ruled out 'fire' 'attack' 'bomb' 'missile'... slightly pointless evening but all good fun (This was an SJA excercise btw... i'm not that sad!!) Oh, and i learnt that the reason we're FB on our radios at home is cozwe're buckinghamshire, where FD in hampshire... this intetested me, i didn't know why we were FB... ok, maybe i am that sad...

Got assignment today aswell that looks like it might be a little scary. All about protein sequences, we have to key them into the computor and then get info out and match it and write up reports all on this section of letters... it doesn't look that hard but i think it will be time consuming and repetative.

Isle of Wight this weekend. Yayness. Tree chopping and socialising. Was going to go out tonight with conservation people also but the mean buses stop at 10.30 so i would be there about 20mins beofre having to leave... seemed kinda pointless!

Looking at placements for nixt summer. Thinking I'm going to have about 6 weeks at VMF and 4 weeks somewhere else. Found a school type place in Hoedspruit, about 2 hours from VMF that takes kids for a week and they do all sorts of conservation work,. I think they have animals there and take them out into the bush and teach them why not to just destroy it all. From what i can tell they are the working class schools, not the posh South Africanones. It was saying there is normally 160+ in there classes at school, but they take 14 at a time to the conservation place. Don't know but i figure that kind of education would be good to have experience in, espcially if it is conservation i end up in.

*Smiles and nearly but not quite end of term sparkles*

Kayla :)
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DNA and protein are boring.

I'm a little concerned my weeks shopping only cost me £7 and I can't work out what I've forgotten... I think I'm going to get half way through the week and have no food left... hmmm.

Just watched Boyzone's new video. The song is pretty good, but middle of the road I feel. BUT I am muchly liking Stephen being paired with a guy rather than girl in the video. Actually makes far more sence and its not jump about shouty 'I'm gay, I'm gay, I'm gay' kinda way. Good work!

Obivously nothing interesting has actually happened since last night but I am procrastinating (which I'm sure doesn't have that many letters in it...) The flat has been strangely quiet today, Not only have I not seen anyone but I haven't heard anyone either. I thought 5 of us were in this weekend, but either everyone got up and went out in the hour in which i was shopping, everyone is still in bed, or theres actually no one in...

First chek for VMF book came. £53 paid as soon as i get the bank details through. Also sent e-mail asking how much it will cost for next summer, woot!!

OK, OK, I'm going...
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Survived first week of ledtures! And I absolutely love my course. I'm doing modules in Life patterns and evolution, physiology, molecular basis of life and bioanlysis. With the exception of bioanalysis, which i feel may be torture, they are all really interesting. I really got into the evolution bit the other day, not realising i'd been reading for 4 hours until i couldn't see anymore coz the sun had gone down! Hopefully I'm going to carry on enjoying it.

We have practicals starting next weejk. I have one on monday on ecg and blood pressure. Which comes with 16 pages of notes and has me confused already. I have a 4 hour gap between lectures on mon though so i think i will be reading about it then in the hope it all fits into place. One on microscopes that doesn't look like its going to be any more complex then at a-level. And a trip to the zoo! The zoo trip is 25% of our mark for that module, which makes it a little daunting, but still exciting! We don't get to find out what the practical is until monday, but it is something along the lines of classifcation and evolution.

Did you know its legal to keep primates in england. You need a permit but its still legal. Does that not strike people as odd? Cruel rather? How can we allow people to keep primates, considering all primates are threatened in the wild. You cannot provide a primate with a natural exsistance in a home. They are unpredictable, dangerous and social. They need interaction with others of the sae species. Grrr. i really didn't think it was still legal. I just assumed that the UK was more intelligent than that, apparently not!

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I am now actually a Zoology student, no longer a half biomed. yay!

We had our intro lectures today, which were almost interesting. Kinda... They were useful but repetative. And collected all our lab coats and id cards etc. My lab coat is stupid and tent like. But it was the smallest they had. I'm sure that small people do science, i don't know why no one caters for them! And my goggles look retarded. But nevermind hey. My tutor seems nice. And the tutor group. Other than the emo kid we have who spent the whole of the first tutorial sat brooding in the corner and not paying attention, but thats fine coz he'll either get over it or fail, they're kinda mutally exclusive! Met one girl I get on with really well, she lives in the flat below as well, and like half hour from MK, which is quite amusing. And quite a few others too actully. So all is good.

Was quite surprised to see Kurt here. I went to Primary school with him and he was evil to me, then went to differant secondary schools but worked with him last summer at the pub. its really bizzare that he'd also come to the same uni, I swear I can't escape him.

Paid my uni fees. For some reason it wouldn't work on my card so i had to call mum and get her to pay and me to move money, which is a pain. but hey, never mind.

VMF photo book made £56 this month, which is good. That should be with the VMF in about a month and a half. its not huge amounts but its enough to help a little at least. I have a field esearch trip this easter, which is a pain coz it means i won't be able to work to earn money to go back, but hopefully i'll get a job here soon.
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I arrived at Southampton Uni yesturday. Into my surprisingly large halls accomadation. I'm really quite impressed with the room. My bed is comfortable, I have a nice proper wood desk, not a plyboard thing. Big wardrobe, shelves. I've got posters on my wall and all is good. The kitchen is also pretty good, although we do only have 6 seats and 7 people, which could prove diffucult. All my flat mates seem really nice. We've all taken a gap year or done other courses before coming here, so there were no tears last night, everyone knows how to cook and clean up and its not like we've all just been released, which is really good. They all went out last night but were quiet when they came in and I didn't hear them, so that was good. The halls complex is huge, there are so many buildings, but moving in yesturday was no hassle. There was loads of parking and it only took 2 trips to move all my stuff. I'm happy Kayla.

Going to try to walk into campus today, I think it should only take half hour at most. I need to do some proper food shopping, and plan what I'm eating all week actually. And I need thimb tacks for my notice board. All of which will hopefully keep me busy!

Don't really have anything till Wednesday, when Ihave welcome lectures and programe talks etc. Meeting tutors and working out what the hell is going on. Not alot seems to be happening beofre then.

Photo book has now raised £56, with no new sales since 14th. But thats still pretty impressive. I don't really know weathr it will continue to sell or not. Its placed on the VMF site so in theory new vols should come across it. And i think Josie ordered one too so people will see it that way. I'm not sure if she put a poster up in the cottage but probably. So funds may continue to dribble in. Heres hoping. Theres a VMF meet in London next month too, but I think I really need to stay here a while, get to know people, so I won't be going.



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August 2011

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