Monday, December 19, 2011

An Epic Road Trip Begins!

A little over 18 months ago I sat down in front of my computer with my steaming cup of freshly brewed Ugandan coffee in my kung fu grip and began to read through my Facebook news feed.  I came across something interesting posted by The Far Horizons.  A census of mountain gorilla's was taking place in the Virunga range and they were offering 2 permits to trek the mountain gorilla's in Rwanda to the person who could estimate the census results to the nearest number.  As a result, my morning became all about finding out the breeding habits, gestation period and life expectancy of mountain gorillas.  The previous census to the one conducted in 2010 was in 2003, so there were a lot of factors to consider to estimate the population.  After extensive reading, I submitted the estimate of 454.  After this several months passed and I completely forgot that I had ever even entered a competition.

On the morning of December 8, 2010 I sat down at my computer with the ritual cup of morning coffee.  I opened up my emails and began reading, ugh, more spam, more software updates to do, and then my eyes fell on the subject line:

The Far Horizons Competition for 2 Gorilla Permits in Rwanda - Winner!

I couldn't open the mail fast enough.  I proceeded to read the following:

Dear Michelle

I am delighted to inform you, that you are the winner of our competition to win 2 gorilla tracking permits for Rwanda worth $1,000 - congratulations!

The results of the census are now in and revealed a total population of 480 mountain gorillas in the Virunga chain. This brings the total world population to 786 individuals - an encouraging increase indeed. Your estimate of 454 was the closest we received to this result.

I nearly spat the delicious dark roast from my mouth.  I screamed with excitement, could it be true?!  It was, and what has entailed is months of planning a road trip centred around mountain gorilla tracking in Rwanda.

So today, with great excitement, the journey to explore another country in Africa and come face to face with gorilla's begins.  The most exciting part is the anticipation of travelling to new places, not knowing what to expect and experiencing it all unfold.

1 comment:

  1. WOW congratulations Michelle, what a cool prize to win! Have an amazing time. We never got a chance to see gorillas when we were in Uganda...we'll have to plan on it for next time we're back. :)