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KayleighinSouthAfrica

Me + South Africa = This

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Great White Sharks

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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