Random Asides

African Adventures

I apologize for my long silence these past few months. My PhD work has been keeping me much busier than I expected, and last semester was the most difficult three months of school I’ve ever had since starting kindergarden. Because, I’ll admit, I did once go through a fingerpainting crisis that still gives me nightmares sometimes. So what have I been up to while not writing for skepchick?

Over the past few months, I survived differential equations, dated some rocks, divorced my advisor (“It’s not you… it’s me”), found a new advisor, designed a new thesis topic, submitted funding applications for this new project, lost weight, lost sleep, lost my mind (at times), learned about double diffusive convection, contemplated plagioclase, decided to leave my advisor sooner (“I think it’s better if we don’t drag things on”), arranged a new source of salary, fell in love, took up astronomy, remembered that I love to rock climb, made peace with my advisor (“I’m glad that you can still be part of my life” See? It really is like divorcing someone), and went to South Africa.

I bought my ticket to Africa during my Thanksgiving “break,” which I spent carefully selecting crystals under a microscope. I was overworked and exhausted, so I decided I needed to take a trip. I went all-out and planned a two week vacation in South Africa in January. I had an amazing trip. Cape Town, where I spent most of my time, is a breathtakingly beautiful city. I was outside every day. I went swimming, climbing, hiking, spelunking, and sightseeing. I saw many incredible animals– penguins, various kinds of buck, ostriches, lions, baboons, rhinos, and many kinds of birds. I also saw some incredible geology.

Anyway, in the next few weeks I plan to write some about the geology and wildlife of South Africa as well as about my current research, including some of the scientific results from my summer cruise to study volcanoes in the Indian Ocean. I’m looking forward to being back!

As a preview, here are a few photos from my recent Africa trip:



Evelyn is a geologist, writer, traveler, and skeptic residing in Cape Town, South Africa with frequent trips back to the US for work. She has two adorable cats; enjoys hiking, rock climbing, and kayaking; and has a very large rock collection. You can follow her on twitter @GeoEvelyn. She also writes a geology blog called Georneys.

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  1. So being a scientist ain't that easy, eh?

    … and them creationist say how science is made-up stuff… hypocrites.

    Anyway, great expectations you're setting here, let's roll! :-)

  2. Penguins!

    Those multi-coloured buildings are pretty awesome. They remind me of this Chinese gangster movie I saw that was set in Macao. Only, moreso.

    Colourful buildings are pretty awesome, although I'm fond of Boston's austere red brick architecture as well. ;)

  3. Nice pictures. I also miss your posts, as well as wishing you could help me identify some rocks I got from Hawaii.

    Do you know there are African penguins behind the Flamingo Hotel is Las Vegas? Cute buggers.

  4. Yay! Evelyn's back!

    I had started wondering what had befallen our brilliant Skepgeologist. Glad to hear you've got your head above water again.

    Can't wait to hear more about your adventures.

    Especially the falling in love part! And the astronomy part. The rest can wait.

  5. I am so pleased you had a wonderful time.

    It is just a pity I did not know, we could have met up, me living in SA and all and only 1000miles from Cape Town.

    Did you get to see any other Part of SA?

  6. Thanks for the comments, everyone. I do, indeed, have my head above water again and am looking forward to posting.

    themyst, I'm doubting you are South African. You're speaking in miles, not kilometers! Then again, you do have a South African email. In any case, I did fly to Joburg for a few days. I was only in the city for one day, though. The rest of the time I spent staying on a game reserve and looking at various caves in the area. Where in South Africa do you live?

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