Competition Music!

Friday, June 2, 2006

I'm back!

Hi all!

I have returned to you! I went off on fieldwork on Sunday and got back on Tuesday. I then took Wednesday off to unplug from the world and stayed at home all day! Wait, I'm lying. I didn't stay at home all day as I went off to the airport with my mom to send some documents off to Italy and then went to fetch my sisters from school.

So I didn't unplug completely, so sue me!

The fieldwork was cool. I went off with Brian as per usual and we took Helen along as well which was a change. She wanted to come along because her project is labwork-based and as a result she never gets to go out into the field. So she came along.

We have access to the baboon tracking data via a website set up for us by the Gauteng Dept. of Agriculture, Environment and Conservation. This is a huge help...or at least it would be if we had internet access while we were in the reserve!

This poses us with a problem to which there are two possible solutions. Either, A) we buy a wireless prepaid internet connection to use in the reserve or B) we phone home everytime we need to get the GPS co-ordinates on the baboons. For those who are confused at this stage, the baboons that I am studying are fitted with cell-collars that send off a location marker every time they come within range of a cellphone tower. These location markers are in the form of latitude and longitude which allows us to go directly to where the baboons are via our GPS (Global Postitioning System - its a small hand-held device that tells you exactly where you are, is ridiculously expensive and tons of fun to play around with).

So, I went off before my trip to find out about option A. I went off to the closest Vodacom store to try and find out about 3G and how much it costs. The guy behinf the counter told me it would cost 32. I was rather amazed and thought 'only R32! That is so cheap!'. So I asked him in confirmation about the price and he replied 'No! R3 200!'. That was the last of option A.

So we had to phone my mom every time we needed to get the latest update on the baboons positions. This would have been a brilliant system were it not for the fact that my mother can't even log onto the internet. She is one of the most computer illiterate people I know. To combat this, I wrote out instructions for her on how to do it all. Strangely enough, it worked.

So we drove around according to my mothers co-ordinates for three days looking for baboons. For the first two we saw nothing at all. Then with a sudden stroke of luck we managed to find them on Tuesday morning and a I got a full 60min of sampling! It was amazing!

Anyhoo, on the trip we watched two DVD's, 'Resevoir Dogs' and 'Batman Begins'. The first was really dissapointing. I had heard it was such a good movie and it was pointless! The same goes for 'Trainspotting'. What an arb movie! 'Batman Begins' wasn't too bad. I still think that the best ones were the first two done by Tim Burton.

Since then I have watched 'Donnie Darko' (Absolutely brilliant!), 'Trainspotting', 'The Fog' and 'Se7en' which was freaky but amazing at the same time!

Thats all I have for you at the moment. Adios! Another Rave Pic...

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