If you decided to do you final year project in the Aberdare National Park, Kenya (like me) then hold on, you are in for a bumpy ride! It all starts by almost missing your plane and running for your life through the Brussels airport, throwing away ALL your toiletries to pass the security gates and finally making it with shaky knees and tears in your eyes.
Next thing is to get used to the fact that nothing works as you expect once you are there. You might be promised many things but sometimes they just don’t happen. It’s something you have no control of and will just have to deal with it (however, having Brad with you makes many things happen a lot quicker). We had a policy that we were allowed 10-15 minute rant to get all the frustration out of the system and then we put on calming music.
You will face countless problems: broken cars, missing drivers, fog, unhelpful people, too little data or too much data, too many lost days and the list goes on. Sometimes it really is very hard and things you are not expecting to happen might happen. But at the end of the day when you are driving home along those bumpy, red and dusty roads, trying not to accidentally headbutt each other, there will be a view behind a bend that will take your breath away or there will be a leopard just chilling by the side of the road, or you will see a buffalo who looks like he is wearing a wig and you laugh yourself silly. There will be something every day that reminds you that what you are doing there might be the most awesome thing you ever do.
However, you will find yourself sitting in front of your computer screen next September, staring at an extensive Excel table filled with numbers and abbreviations that only you can make any sense out of. Even the thought of starting analysing it makes you feel like fainting. The only advice I can give you is to keep close to your supervisor and the academic support teachers. It will be alright in the end.