11 February 2011

Fresh Feeling

I'm feeling the need to write one of those slightly more personal posts because I'm really happy with life and Cape Town at the moment. I feel so settled and focused this year and I'm appreciating everything more than normal. Very at peace with the world.

We had introductory lectures today. I missed the Ecology and Evolution one since there was much confusion about venues etc. That said I cannot wait to get my hands on the textbook. An Ecology textbook, imagine! :) The oceanography lecture has gotten me so excited for 2nd year. It's all so new and interesting. The course convener was telling us about the six modules of the course and they all seem like they're going to be a blast. Once she's done teaching her two-week module she's off to the Southern Ocean on a cruise - heaven. The EGS course sounds great too, there's three modules - climatology, water/catchment areas and land processes. I am so excited to finally be pursuing subjects I've wanted to study my whole life.

I feel like lately I keep getting asked what my plans for the future are in terms of specialising and choosing a career. This year is technically the last year I'll be able to keep my options open. After this, specialisation is inevitable. Choosing between wildlife conservation and climate change is going to get harder than ever I think. It's something I've always struggled with. Wildlife and conservation is where my passions really lie, they're what get me going. But I know there's more for me to do if I go into a climate related field, it's the more practical choice. The choices for third year courses are going to be impossible to narrow down and I'm probably going to end up doing an extended degree with two third years and a triple major-esque plan. But I think that's just taking the easy way out by not making a decision...I don't know if I really have a long-term plan. And I want to do post-grad but how will I choose one thing to do it in? All I know is that I want to be in the field and I need an animal fix every now and then to stay sane. At the moment something that I'm really keen on doing is ecotourism and parks/protected areas management. It's something I've blogged about a couple of times, see January Galavanting and Literally a Conversation on Conservation. I think it's an area with so much potential. Going to reserves in India and hearing about paper parks from Kyran has stressed that even more. It just requires some basic policy changes and monitoring and it could have the biggest impact on biodiversity conservation. Another thing I'd love to do is do a course in photography and film-making (particularly wildlife). Decisions decisions...

To end the post with a few pictures, today after lectures we went down to the Old Zoo - one of UCT's little secret places. It used to be Cecil Rhodes' personal zoo and now all that's left of it is the Lion's Den. It's such a little gem of a place. We climbed up on top of the cage bit, the view is absolutely stunning from there. And I heard a bird call up there that I didn't recognise... UCT is such an amazing place and Cape Town is such a spectacular city. Times like these make me feel like I made the best decision of my life by coming here. Truly happy with where life is taking me at the moment.

(sorry for the quality, they were taken from my phone)

Oh and one more thing - without a doubt, this year I am getting PADI certified and I will start diving. It has to happen.

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