Our African Travel Mentor, Carrie Culp, will share her recent experience participating in Pyramids of Life at Alex Walker's Serian. While Carrie has visited the continent of Africa thirteen times, this trip marks her first time in Tanzania, so true to the ethos at Explorer X, she decided to take herself on a solo mini-Project X that she will share with you this evening.
In 2008, Carrie trained to become a FGASA-certified Level 1 safari guide at Ecotraining's Karongwe Reserve in South Africa. This month long course culminated in exams and a game drive with an examiner. She has maintained her guiding license since that time, so it is only natural that she was invited to participate in Pyramids of Life - Serian's yearly guide training for their own staff. Presented with this opportunity, Carrie decided to take a solo trip in order to experience a new place and discover a new part of herself.
Time spent in Africa has already changed Carrie's perspective. She began dreaming of traveling to Africa to see the animals at the age of five after learning about African wild dogs in a book in her elementary school library. She counts herself as extremely fortunate to have seen them in the wild almost a dozen times. This is no easy feat as packs travel up to 25 miles per day in search of food.
In 2014, Carrie could no longer resist the urge to help, so she decided to combine two of her passions - conservation and education - and start a 501c3 organization that would marry the two and help students reach across the globe to help. Endangered Canid Project links local college students in STEM-related coursework with real-world conservation projects that benefit their education and conservation of endangered canids, particularly the African wild dog. ECP's flagship project is a long range, affordable research UAV system which is nearly ready for use by conservation organizations. This system was designed by engineering students at Washington State University beginning in 2015. Carrie will also share details of Endangered Canid Project's upcoming June fundraiser with you this evening.