Vaduz

Liechtenstein was a small detour we took during our road trip across southern Germany. The small principality was besieged by roaring mountains and a raging sun. Here are some pictures from our visit:






After checking out the main road, visitor's centre, street shops, cafés, and castle, I wandered from the group with a select few to check out the microstate's contemporary art museum.





Charlotte Moth: "living images" (2015)


Charlotte Moth: "living images" (2015), detail


Charlotte Moth: "Travelogue"


Rocío x



My IB Art Exhibition

Exactly a year ago, I had just graduated high school with the International Baccalaureate Diploma. Though it had been a painstaking two years, I completed it with a keen and immeasurable appreciation for visual arts – a childhood hobby I'd long forgotten to love. However through extended research and practice and now with some curatorial experience under my belt, I find myself scrambling for more and more. 

Here, a glimpse into what I achieved during my time as an art student:




(all art by me)

Rocío x

2016/2017 unfinished art journal


I was instructed to keep an art journal in high school. It wouldn't count as a sketchbook, but rather an accumulation of almost everything and anything that would keep me inspired: whether it be drafts of prospective art pieces, snips from magazines, or even found objects. I'd since finished my high school art journal and started anew in 2016. This is a collection of my favourite pages thus far:














(all art by me)

Still working on it.

Rocio x

Amsterdam

Welcome to Amsterdam, the city of sex, drugs and rock n' roll! Now let's get stoooooooned!

If I could invite the bus driver out to a coffee shop for the sole reason of uttering those words as we arrived in Holland's capital city, you're sure as hell I would. And it wasn't just these words that got me pumped to spend four days in the Sin City of Europe – it was because I'd be visiting my best friend Kata (I believe I've mentioned her name here a couple times) after not seeing each other for so long apart from our time together in South Africa. It didn't even matter that we'd miss the tulips Amsterdam is famous for. Sorry to be cheesy, but this girl is my favourite type of flower anyway.

We left for Amsterdam in the winter. Needless to say, seeing the place in a different season as usually advertised was simply other-worldly. I felt as though I were in a dream. Walking by the still canals, breathing in the biting mist, watching tourists scrambling for herring...nothing more could scream "storybook fisherman's town" than an actual fisherman smoking a pipe around the corner.












Luckily for us Potterheads, there would be a Harry Potter Exhibit in the outskirts of Utrecht, a city just thirty minutes away. I don't remember anybody telling me not to publish any pictures I took, so here's to hoping I won't get sued:





See you soon,

Rocío x

P.S. If you have read my last post, you were most likely expecting a "South Africa: Part Two". Unfortunately, after the mishap of having my last computer (with all my pictures) stolen and my being an idiot for not backing my files up on a hard drive...I'm left to – as Arrested Development's Tobias would put it – toil through this waking life. Okay, to hell with exaggerating – I'm really just begging other people for their pictures. That might take a while.


South Africa: my Opwall experience part one


Fig. 1. Study of the Olifants river from the Struwig Eco Reserve

I should have started writing this post shortly after the topical events occurred. However almost a year later, my lethargic ways continued to engulf my once-motivated spirit, so fully, that I completely forgot I even had this blog. Sorry for the delay.

As a pat on the back for having graduated high school (and frankly because I would have wasted my time in a gap year), I volunteered for a two-week biological excursion with Operation Wallacea in South Africa. This would be my first time in the continent (excluding a family trip to the Canary Islands more than a decade prior) and I was beyond exhilarated – and the fact that my best friends would be present added even more to my adrenaline-pumped packing party with Toto's Africa, the full Rodriguez discography, and soundtracks from Disney movies Tarzan and the Lion King making up my playlist. I was more than ready to spend one week in the bush, and another by the ocean. 

Our Opwall group was stationed in Kruger National Park for the first week. Crucial activities we had to do for Opwall's environmental research projects included bird point counts, habitat assessments, game transects, I could go on. If you follow mine and my best friend Kata's amateur travel Instagram, you might have already seen a few pictures from our trip, which I will post again here:


Fig. 2. The Olifants river, where an array of animals would gather every morning


Fig. 3. Game drive sunset


Fig. 4. We spotted this impala carcass during a tracks and signs lecture. Nearby plotted like seeds on the ground were several balls of hair, presumably from the dead animal. These two signs suggested this was the dinner of a leopard, who are known to remove the hair of their prey and carry them up a tree so they may feast undisturbed.


Fig. 5. Difficult to spot, but here stood a male buffalo. Usually solitary animals, buffalos are one of Africa's Big Five, also including lions, leopards, elephants, and the mighty rhinoceros (currently endangered).


Fig. 6. My experiences with giraffes were almost transcendent...their gigantic eyes and fixated glare brought me to question my existence as a human being. The grace these animals have is indescribable.
Fig. 7. "30/06/2016 – We were lucky enough to see a herd of elephants while on foot. 'The perfect spotting', our guide called it. We were able to observe them without them noticing us."


Fig. 8. Junior Martial eagle


Fig. 9. Baboon family on the run – I grabbed my camera too late and was only able to snap the last of the group
Fig. 10. "On our last walk, our guide brought us along the Olifants river to show us two hippo carcasses; one rather small, one very large, both dead due to starvation."


Fig. 11. The most curious (and the only) mongooses I had ever seen in my life. Their level of cuteness makes it unbelievable how feisty they can be. (Clue: they fight snakes!)


Fig. 12. The picture I am most proud of: an African wild dog at full stride, two of which we spotted hunting. Incredibly mobile and fast, I was lucky enough to capture the rare animal in perfect motion. There are only around 320 left in the South Africa.
Fig. 13. Antelopes in the Balule Game Reserve, Fig. 14. Antelope studies (impala and bush buck)

Even while my pictures and captions describe roughly what we did, our first week in South Africa entailed so much more. Lectures about wildlife preservation and entomology only cover the tip of the iceberg when it comes to other activities Opwall had scheduled for us. More information can be found here. If you are a student interested in biological sciences (with a keenness toward ecology especially), Opwall offers great programmes and volunteer expeditions that are worth every penny. Not only is it a wonderful opportunity, it is very much a life-changing experience. Even students that do not care for the subject field will love it – I guarantee it.

Part two: Sodwana Bay coming soon.

Rocio x