Me + South Africa = This


November 2016

A terribly busy few days…

SANCCOB has been terribly busy and stressful over the last few days! Long hours and busy days, with hardly time for breaks and food.

Friday all paid members of staff went on there yearly day out, leaving just volunteers and interns running the place… These guys trust me really deserve that one day off, they all work incredibly hard, incredibly long hours for probably not alot of money.

I must say the worst day was Saturday where 7 people decided not to show! Now at the weekend there is only 1 rehabber and the rest are volunteers and interns. Take away 7 people and thats a third of the staff for the day! It was unnecessary stress for everyone and it was wonderful that everyone pulled together to get it all finished by 7. Just a quick tip.. If the place you have decided to volunteer isn’t for you… be polite and tell them, instead of not turning up! These people rely on the volunteers and interns, fair enough if you are generally sick!!! But be honest! Don’t lie, you will get caught out!

Yesterday was pretty bad, 3 of the same people that continuously do not show up… didn’t show up again! This meant that i was left at a super busy point in the day for my pen on my own! It also meant that through out the day people kept adding things to my forever growing list of things to do, when i hadn’t even finished the things i am supposed to do for the birds in my own care!


On a much happier note, went to see Fantastic Beasts yesterday with a few of the girls and we loved it. It was an awesome film and i will be going to see it again! Pretty soon! 🙂


I really am terrible at writing this, this time around.

So Saturday i went into to Cape Town to see Lucy whom i have known for a very long time, she joined the Marine Conservation project on Monday in Gansbaai. Little did i know when i decided to wear flip flops for the day that i would be walking 21.5km… Who does that? It was a lovely day, we walked around the VA Waterfront and headed to the Two Ocean Aquarium. Was super nice to see her and i really hope she is having a wonderful time in Gansbaai.

Now at SANCCOB its been crazy busy, chicks chicks and more chicks. I have been lucky enough to be on the penguin pens alot of the time. This means i am now allowed to feed, tube and administer medication to the birds. It also means my finger is not happy because it is used to keep the penguins beak open whilst doing these things… It led me to be put on ICU for the day yesterday, more cleaning and moving birds around then feeding etc… Until i was pulled off to help feed in pen 2 twice. I also had a stupid bug bite that meant that i ended up in the pharmacy because i was clearly silly allergic to what ever it was. Now i have been bit by mozzies before in actual fact i had a bite on my leg last week that was like the size of a 2p coin… The bite on my arm engulfed my elbow… I am just not lucky. Oh and to top it off i was giving the pelican darrows, which literally meant sticking my arm in its mouth anddddd the little or not so little guy bit me… future reference it hurts and i bled.

Today was a well needed day off and i ended up yet again at the wetlands. It is super pretty there and so peaceful, this time around i was lucky enough to see a Black Shouldered Kite.

The last few days

Busy few days if you ask me! Sunday i finally got put on a penguin pen. The pen where all the strongest and nearest to release birds go… This can only mean one thing, super sore and super bruised hands. Don’t get me wrong SANCCOB do make sure everyone wears arm guards and gloves… but if you have ever been bit by a penguin before you know this will only stop the cuts. You have to be super quick and really sure of yourself and your own stregth because these birds are strong and will get you when you least expect it!

Yesterday i was in the ICU. This is where all the sickest birds go! Its always going to be a busy day! I was lucky though i was shown how to force feed (sounds horrible, but these birds lives literally depend on it) a Hartlaubs Gull. SANCCOB are great when it comes to training. I have had experience all be it only a little with working with penguins, yet they treat everyone the same and teach you from the beginning. When you learn something you get signed off. For instance i can handle penguins, cape cormorants, kelp gulls and hartlaubs gull, but can only currently feed a hartlaubs gull. I will eventually be shown feeding of other birds and also hopefully tubing and medication. 🙂

Today was another day off, i again ended up at Rietvlei Wetlands! I love the place! I left at around 9 as i wanted to get there super early. I was so lucky today! I managed to see so much wildlife, including a Malachite Kingfisher and a mongoose! The place is by far one of my favourite places ever! It is so peaceful and relaxing! One problem though was today it hit 31 degrees… this means bugs…. Lots and lots of bugs… NO THANK YOU!

First week over.

I have officially been back in South Africa for 1 week! Its gone really quick and has been super busy.

Day 1 – I was dropped off at SANCCOB and put on mat and crates… Basically everything gets cleaned once and day. You jet wash everything then disinfect it, it then all goes back to where it came from.

Day 2 – General duties, this means basically you are in the kitchen area, prepping everything for each of the pens throughout the day… This could be formula, fish plates, darrows, syringe cleaning, normal cleaning and laundry. It is crazy busy in this section just because of the pure number of birds there are at the moment.

Day 3 – Pen 1 and Aviary 🙂 Basically these are the flying birds… For instance at the moment there are cape cormorants and kelp gulls. You get shown how to handle them properly (have handled cormorants and kelp gulls before) and then with your small team of 2/3 people are left to care for the birds throughout the day. For these guys that means food prep, tubing for darrows if needed (this is something i will get taught eventually) swimming the birds twice a day and general cleaning duties. Oh i also got taught how to catch a pelican and was allowed to restrain it whilst medication was given. 🙂

Day 4 – Nursery, this has been by far the most enjoyable day since being back! It is like being on general yet on a more chilled level. Though in this instance i was incredibily lucky, i was shown how to work the nebuliser and shown how to handle the chicks (not normally something you do) and then left unsuperviser to move the chicks from the outside pen, into the nebuliser 7 at a time and then into the indoor pen. I got to handle 41 ish chicks! Over half of which needed to be put in the nebuliser. I really do i hope i get placed on this section more, i’d love to be shown how they are tubed and fed!

CHICKS ARE SO FLUFFY. But they do still bite and it still leaves a mark.

I have returned.

So yesterday i arrived in Cape Town! Leaving my mum and twin at the airport still didn’t make it feel real, sitting on the plane for 12 hours didn’t make it feel real. But here i am! Day 2!

Yesterday i must admit i was a bit of a mess, no sleep since the night before does that to a person. So what do i do… Hike up Table Mountain! CLEVER! It was the most stupidist idea ever, but the company was fun and we made it… Me and Charlotte started hiking in glorious sunshine and walked/hiked straight to the clouds. For me this was fun (the clouds part) i have been up TM before and the views were incredible. To be up there in the clouds though was completely insane! Cold and insane.

Today was the day i was booked for my paraglide. Now for those that don’t know i have spent the last 6 months raising money for the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary in Gansbaai! The paraglide was to mark the end of the fundraising period (i did pay out of my own money) and there to be more of an incentive for people to donate… It worked i can now say that i went out hoping to raise £300 but have actually raised £940! Now when i woke up this morning i could see people up in the air over Lions Head and i received a text saying that due to wind conditions flying had been postponed! Though i must admit that i was pretty devasted that it might now happen. But have faith…  i had a call at 11 to ask if i wanted to fly at 12. YES PLEASE! It was the most incredible thing i have ever done.. Don’t get me wrong the 10 min hike to the launch site nearly killed me after yesterday. But i really can non describe how incredible it is to be able to say you flew higher than Lions Head! The conditions were perfect and when i land i find out that the rest of the flights have been cancelled due to wind! I was so lucky not only to be able to experience what i did but to be able to fly today! THANK YOU everyone that has donated or shared my fundraising page, the money will ALL go towards the penguins and a small share for the DEEP childrens club in Gansbaai!

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