The Intersection

Humans are born naturally curious creatures. As youngsters, our world is mainly governed by what’s within reach – or even better – fits in our mouths. For most of us, that changes as bigger folks start telling us to stop playing in the mud, eating crayons, and picking up beetles. We learn about cultural norms and social expectations. Sort of sad, isn’t it?

I suspect many pursue the sciences for the very reason that here, it’s not only okay, but encouraged to get dirty. No matter what the reason, it’s a trajectory to lead a life less ordinary by seeking to understand how things came to be the way they are. We’ve discovered our nontraditional interests and activities are acceptable ‘in the name of science.’ A spectacular profession.

i-8b17014291abeea45b985459aa548d30-rustenburg_viewtn.jpg Here in Africa, our intrepid leader Johnny Wilson grew up nearby Kgaswane Nature Reserve in Rustenburg where we spent the day. He seems to know exactly where to find each animal and can mimic bird calls perfectly. He laughs when I try my best to do the same.

And with that, I’m eight years old again, making my way through the brush. Delighted every time I spot a vervet monkey or grey hornbill. I’ve returned to the place we all begin. Everything is novel and no one is telling me to stop exploring. It’s on these adventures that I experience a reawakening of sorts and am reminded why I love biology as much as I do. The study of life.


  1. #1 michael
    June 26, 2007

    Have you seen any giraffes? They were my favorite. Isn’t it an amazing place? Glad you have this opportunity.

  2. #2 Linda
    June 26, 2007

    I feel as if I am there exploring along with you… listening to the birds singing, and happy in the discovery of everything. How exciting!!

  3. #3 coturnix
    June 26, 2007

    You have no idea how envious of you I am right now! You get to be eight years old again!

  4. #4 Richard
    June 26, 2007

    It makes me miss home 🙁

  5. #5 Fred Bortz
    June 26, 2007

    To be “eight years old again.”

    Isn’t that why we all do science, or write about it?

    Given the right circumstances, we are curious, inquisitive, and in love with the Universe, even when, like me, we have eight-year-old grandchildren.

    Wonderful, Wonder-ful!

    Thanks, Sheril, for taking us along. Looking forward to more.

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