About Klaus Mayr

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So far Klaus Mayr has created 3 entries.

My Life When I’m Not Running from a Leopard

The following post was written by Klaus Mayr.

I realize I’ve not really written anything about the actual work I’m doing here in South Africa. Before I came to the Wits Rural Facility, I didn’t realize just how much I would love and grow from this volunteer placement. I know that not all of it will sound excessively intriguing to many people who read this, but I’ve come to find it quite intriguing, impactful, rewarding, and even thrilling sometimes.

I’m working for Dr. Wayne Twine, an associate professor from the University of the Witwatersrand and the manager of the SUNRAE (Sustaining Natural Resources in African Ecosystems) Program at the Wits Rural Facility, right down the road from Kruger National Park, one of the most remarkable places I’ve ever been to.

The SUNRAE Program seeks to understand the relationship between humans and their environment in the lowveld, Bushbuckridge region of South Africa. Wayne […]

By |December 1st, 2016|Gappers in the Field|

Running, Jogging, and Walking for My Life in the South African Bush

The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow Klaus Mayr.

“Just keep hanging a left and you’ll end up right back in Caravilla,” Wayne said, showing me a route through the game reserve as he whipped through the South African bush in his little truck. “Just be back before dusk,” he added with a smirk, “that’s when Leopard comes out.”


Wayne’s comment didn’t scare me. It was a warning. I knew that if I adhered to his advice, I’d be totally fine.

So just a day later, I went for it. Leaving behind my phone and my watch because, of course, I just wanted to be alone with nature. I didn’t want to be confined by this artificial idea we call “time” or the completely overrated ability to call people.

So there I was, staring off over the dirt road that leads away from Caravilla, the housing area I live in […]

By |October 10th, 2016|Gappers in the Field|

Welcome to My Interlude

It was the first time we’d had more than six people in our small house. We’d never had anything like this small gathering since we moved in five years ago.

Our adorable lab-terrier mix, Sugar, was nervously trotting through the kitchen, stopping occasionally to look up at the strange people bending down to pet her. We were both utterly overwhelmed. Fortunately, it wasn’t the abnormal number of people scratching my back that was getting to me. Instead (and I shamelessly acknowledge all of its banality), in a way it had never been before, my heart was full.


I can honestly say that I did not expect the weeks leading up to my gap year departure to be this difficult. I’ve always considered myself so above normalcy and routine that I could get up and leave my life behind at any moment if there was another opportunity out there that better suited […]

By |September 7th, 2016|Pre-departure|