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letters from africa, nine months with shannon switzer Letters from Africa - Nine Months with Shannon Switzer

Introduction: JettyGirl photographer Shannon Switzer left a few days ago on the trip of a lifetime. Although not necessarily a surf trip per se, we think her adventure is a story well-worth sharing with others. Before she departed, a few surf companies jumped on board with sticker donations for Shannon's trip. Her plan is to pass stickers out to the kids she meets as she travels throughout Africa. Special thanks to all who answered our call for stickers: Transworld SURF, Walking on Water, Mutiny Media, Leucadia Surf Shop, and Dal Sarcos. The kids are going to be stoked! If you or your company is interested in donating stickers to Shannon, please contact me at --Chris Grant


September 26, 2007

Dispatch No. 1: Whale Sharks, Sea Turtles, and Chimps- OH MY!

Hello All My Favorite People,

Here I go Again!

Most of you know that my adventure-bug has bit once more- this time it's sending me to Africa. I fly out tomorrow night and will be there for the next 8 months getting my hands dirty in a variety of field research and humanitarian work. Here's a little recap of what I'll be doing (even for those of you who are already up-to-date, because I know it's kind of confusing):

First I'll be heading to the Seychelles, an island nation a thousand miles off the coast of Kenya in the Indian Ocean, to study whale sharks, sea turtles, and coral reef health with a local non-profit organization ( ).

I'll spend three months there and then head to Kenya for a month of traveling and working at an orphanage or AIDS clinic (not sure exactly where yet).

I will then be making my way to Uganda to study chimpanzees for three months in the Budongo Forest ( ) as a field research assistant to a PhD student from Oxford University.

Finally I'll be doing a month of traveling (again not sure where) before heading home in early June.

Kind of a lot of random things all patched together, but I'm definitely looking forward to this adventure and praying that I will be able to contribute something small to the earth and its creatures along the way.


I've finally updated my website and re-organized it. I have a lot of new photos posted that have accumulated during this past year at home, if you have a second definitely check them out! You can actually get to the website now with two easy addresses : or (Take your pick!!)

I won't be earning any income while I'm gone, as all the work I'm doing is volunteer and self-funded. So if you know anyone who wants a beautiful wall decoration or even a cool calendar, send them my way!

And a big thank you to everyone who has purchased photos from my website- it means a lot to me! I would love to get feedback on the quality of the prints and service you receive as I don't usually get to see the finished product sent out by Smugmug. I want to make sure everyone is satisfied with their purchases!

You can also keep updated on my adventures at JettyGirl Online Surf Magazine thanks to the kindness of local photographer Chris Grant ( The Surfer's Directory - he has a lot of great photos to check out too!)


A little disclaimer: I will be keeping in touch via e-mail updates and posting the latest haps on my website as often as possible. If anyone is receiving these e-mails who would rather not be, just let me know and you won't get them anymore. Don't worry, it won't hurt my feelings at all (well maybe just a little bit), but I totally understand!

I think that's it. One more big thank you to everyone - you have all supported me in so many ways! You will be on my heart and in my prayers.

And don't worry, the e-mails to come will be way more interesting I promise!

Much Love,


Shannon's Next Letter: "Unexpected Flight Delays Lead to Unexpectedly Good Times"

jettygirl photographer shannon switzerShannon Switzer at the Roxy Jam Cardiff

Shannon waxing up...

...and dropping into Puerto Escondido


Photo: Gabe Rogel


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