Inspirational travel videos!

Hey Guys!

I was just sitting here and procrastinating on twitter and came across these fantastic videos. Right off the bat, I’ll just come out and say that my artistic talents are so horrible that I couldn’t even pretend to take credit for these videos if I wanted to. In any case, here is my big disclaimer: I did not make these videos and they are not “mine”. In fact, they seem to belong to a group of three men who make us all want to pack our bags and travel the world again.


MOVE from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

LEARN from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

EAT from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

Exploring the Island: The Siopi River

As most of you should know by now, I spent just under three months in the rainforest of Bioko Island working at a field assistant for the BBPP. One of the perks of the job is that we worked in virtually unexplored areas; we hiked into areas that even the locals don´t even frequent. Being able to explore untouched beaches, rivers, and waterfalls became part of everyday life. Even on the worst days, I could always tell myself that I was witnessing nature in a way that only a handful of people had ever seen.

A particularly memorable exploration was when we decided to take a hike up our bathing river (called the Siopi River by our local guides) to see what surprises awaited us at the end. Clambering over slippery rocks and under fallen trees, we slowly made our way upstream. We were so rewarded; the dense vegetation opened up to allow a three-tiered cascade to rush down into a beautiful, deep pool of clear, blue water. The water pressure from the cascade was so strong that it was like swimming in one of those endless pools…except way more awesome.

Hiking to the cascades involved a few interesting maneuvers…like balancing along a log.

Hanging out on the top of the cascades.

Climbing up the cascade was so much fun. There was so much cold water hitting my face that I just shut my eyes, felt for the best handhold, and pulled myself up, rock by rock. Clambering up the rock face was definitely fun…but more even more awesome than that was the jump down.

And yes, I totally scream like a girl.



African Grey Parrots in the wild!

During one of the last days of my fieldwork time on Bioko Island, a coworker and I were lucky enough to stumble upon two wild grey african parrots just hanging out in a tree. They were more than happy to chirp away for us; it was amazing to see them in the wild and not in a cage at a pet store.

On the last day of our time in the rainforest, we observed huge flocks of the parrots flying south down the beaches. Not only was I not aware that they could fly longer distances, but some groups were even flying out over the ocean. The next morning, we once again saw them flying overhead, but this time they were flying north. Who knows what was going on there!

Anyway…enjoy nature´s soundtrack!



Turtles and things.

So I have to admit that I never got to see any turtles while I was at Bioko; they were coming up onto the beaches to lay their eggs at night, but occasionally, one would still be out of water during the early morning hours.

A coworker and friend of mine got some short videos of one such encounter!



How to leave a rocky, wave-filled, bay on the southern beaches of Bioko Island.

Step number 1: Set up a signal fire.

Step 2: Sleep on the beach until the boat gets here.

Step 3: Frantically flag down the boat with any available materials…ie: neon yellow rain jacket.

Step 4: Desperately try to get an overloaded boat out over the breaking waves and safely into the open ocean.

Step 5: Leaving the bay. Note the fact that the boat was filled with water, the huge waves, and the fact that I sound reasonably scared.


Primate censusing – a day in my life with the BBPP

Want to know what my typical day entailed during my tenure as a BBPP field assistant? Take a look at these two videos, which I took during our primate census. This happened to be a really unique monkey encounter – I only saw drills four times in two months, and it was pure luck that I happened to catch it on video. The bioko drill is an extremely unique animal, and is endangered – I am so fortunate to have been able to see it in the wild.