We’ll be running a field diary on the blog over the next few days. The narrator of those posts will be Kelley Pascoe, who recently traveled to Tanzania with HALI Co-Directors Jonna Mazet and Woutrina Smith. Here’s a bit about Kelley before we begin sharing her field diary on the blog:
1. Where are you from? How old are you? Tell us a bit about yourself.
I actually grew up in Davis and to some extent in the halls of the veterinary school with two parents as professors and vets. Some of my fondest memories are playing in the barns or in the lecture halls with my brother while our parents finished out the work day. I’ve spent the time since leaving Davis exploring different passions and interests from working for four years in an evolutionary genetics lab in Seattle to rafting over 4,000 river miles in the past eight years as a professional whitewater raft guide for a California environmentally focused non-profit. I still have an interest in the health field and am continuing to explore career, volunteer and educational options while still making a priority to spend a large chunk of every year outside in the fresh air, on the water and nights under the stars.
2. Where did you go to school and what did you study?
I attended the University of Washington in Seattle for my undergraduate education. While at UW I studied and completed degrees in chemistry and biochemistry. Although I’m sure my high school chemistry teacher would have put money on the fact that I wouldn’t have stepped foot in a chemistry class again, I loved watching the interactions of the physical world around me on the scale of particles--it’s beautiful. Plus it has the added bonus of sitting in laboratories and performing experiments while the rest of my friends were always buried in the seemingly endless papers they were writing.
3. What interests you most about HALI?
I was really intrigued by the One Health approach and the interface between human and animal populations. Health, especially on an international scale, is a kaleidoscope--constantly changing and evolving with new patterns and interactions all the time across species and globally. The HALI family and project take the the time to devote energy and passion into a multifaceted and multi-targeted approach to research and healthcare on an international level.
4. Was this your first time in Tanzania?
It was both my first time in Tanzania and in Africa. It’s an absolutely beautiful and colorful country that stole a little piece of my heart.
5. What was your favorite part of the trip?
That’s a tough one since it was such a great trip all around. One of my favorite parts of travelling in general is the food. It’s always nice getting to taste and experience food in the country it originated in, with local ingredients. Food is also one of the best ways to connect with people through a shared meal, a shared experience based in pleasure. Plus, ugali is just plain fun to eat. Alongside the food, I was also quite taken with what I’ll call the Tanzanian smile. The Tanzanian smile is the smile that we all wish would come through in photographs--the natural, instantaneous smile that indicates true happiness in the moment. It’s usually accompanied by a laugh too, a laugh that shakes the whole body and is infectious, spreading throughout the group. It’s a beautiful thing.