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Day 40 (August 4, 2011): Closing Kampi Safi, the Start of Season 2, and Acknowledgements
August 4, 2011
The day started like any other day, with breakfast at 6:45. This morning the camp cooks made us a special farewell treat – French toast! – to go with our usual piece of papaya and coffee and tea.
After breakfast, we went to our respective tents and spent the next hour packing up belongings. Within a few hours, the tents had been collapsed, neatly folded, and stowed away. Several truckloads were taken to the Site Museum, where we store some research equipment and tables. The kitchen was disassembled. Several hours passed with everyone milling about, loading trucks, cleaning, and packing.
Everyone piled into the cars and eventually began the journey back to Nairobi. And that was the end of our field camp, Kampi Safi, for this field season.
For some of us in camp, it’s hard to leave this piece of ground in the middle of the Rift Valley – its dynamic rush of clouds, bright sun every day, and the astounding clarity of stars at night. Personally, I miss it and yearn to return the next year.
It’s an exciting project. The research, in the end, is what excites us about coming back to Olorgesailie every year. New challenges, new mysteries, new clues to help understand our origins. As for this year, I hope you have enjoyed reading about our time travels, and may some day visit this wondrous ancient landscape.
A Final Thought – Acknowledgements
As a final and lasting thought, I would like to offer a special tribute here to the Kenyan field team. The thirty men with us this season worked so hard, and with such great cooperation and sense of humor, to make our Smithsonian-National Museums of Kenya project a success.
Before acknowledging each member of the team, let me also give my big thanks to two others who were crucial to producing the blog. Katie Ranhorn gathered observations and helped write ideas for many days of this season’s blog. Jennifer Clark, who manages the logistics of our Olorgesailie field camp, also found the time to format the daily content and post the blog on our website. Great work to both Katie and Jennifer!
There’s no better way to end than to offer the following gallery of photos, with thanks to my colleagues on the Olorgesailie field team who excavate with such care and expertise; sieve sediment and find every little artifact and fossil with watchful eyes; and create an atmosphere at Kampi Safi that is like a ‘second home’ to me, and is warm and welcoming to the students and research colleagues who visit each year.
Goodbye from all of us on the Olorgesailie field team!