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KayleighinSouthAfrica

Me + South Africa = This

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Gansbaai

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!

Come around so quickly

It only seems like yesterday that i actually booked to go back to South Africa. People at work keep asking me if i am prepared and if i’m excited and what are my plans when i come back to the UK… Lets answer those…

Am i prepared? Yes probably more so then i let on. This time around was a hell of a lot more stressful to plan due to visa requirements. Yep you heard me i had to apply for a visa and goodness me it was a pain. Medical, X-ray, Police Certificate plus bank statements, a statement from Ed at Via Volunteers and a trip to London to hand it in… oh and the earliest you could apply was 9 weeks before you fly. I must say i heard some horror stories but my application process went smoothly. I had my passport back in my hands with 3 weeks to go.

Am i excited? This one is tricky. I have had a lot of rubbish go on in the last 7 months since being back in England. Of course i am excited to go back to Cape Town and Gansbaai to spend some time with the crazy wildlife there and the people of course. It is also my first Christmas ever away from my family and when you have had a year like us it was a huge decision for me to make… Ultimately made by the fact that life is to short. And of course i am excited to know that on my return i have raised a considerable amount of money for The African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary in Gansbaai. Its good to be able to give back to the people that taught me so much in a short space of time.

What are my plans when i return to England? Goodness knows! I handed in my notice for my job just under 3 months ago. I don’t want to go back there. I have spent the last 7 months volunteering as a Junior Keeper at BirdWorld in Farnham and who knows maybe there will be a seasonal vacancy to apply for when i get back in March. Honestly i really don’t know what will happen. All i know is that i would love to be able to continue to work with Birds and Penguins hopefully in a keeper/conservastionist role. I don’t have a qualification BUT i have the heart and i have some experience through my volunteering in Cape Town/Gansbaai and Birdworld… Who knows maybe i will be lucky.

PS. I also brought a new Canon 100D to help me with my love for taken pictures… Watch this space 😉

 

The Return

So in around 10 or so weeks i will be returning to South Africa for just over 4 months. This time around though i will be volunteering at 2 different projects.

SANCCOB

For the first 6 weeks of my visit i will be helping out at SANCCOB. SANCCOB is an African Penguin and Seabird hospital based in Cape Town. I am super excited to be helping out here as i get more hands on experience working with the birds. SANCCOB also have a relationship with Birdworld in Farnham where i have been volunteering since my return to the UK back in March/April. Birdworld regularly hold fundraising events that benefit SANCCOB.

Marine Dynamics/APSS

For the final 12 weeks i will be returning to Gansbaai as an IMV for Marine Dynamics. Here i will again be helping out on the Shark Cage Diving boats/Eco boat trips, though i do hope to concentrate on helping out at the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary. I can’t wait to return and catch up with the friends that i have made here. It was here that i found a love for working with birds and it is here that i am also raising money.

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