After 10 hard-working months hopping around the globe my time was sadly at an end but, I’d had the experience of a life time. I’d met some amazing people and learnt heaps, both in terms of work skills and about myself. All the fantastic things I’d seen, done and eaten would be nigh on endless if I tried to list them; but I thought I’d just mention a few of the highlights, including those that may not have made it into the blogs.
In no particular order:
- Seeing my first wild fishing cat after receiving an e-mail that one was in a local property and not expecting it to still be there. Not ashamed to admit my eyes welled up, it was phenomenal.
- Discovering the fun and happy world of tuk-tuks.
- The heart stopping moments seeing wild otters, honey badger, spotted hyena and aardvark.
- Undertaking hours of crocodile surveying on the river and being thrilled every second.
- Embracing the lack of health and safety in Thailand by riding backie down the motorway on a moped held together with multi-coloured strips of duct tape wearing a helmet, shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops.
- Reviewing thousands of camera trap pictures and after 4 ½ months finally coming across one of a fishing cat.
- Successfully climbing a massive tree with ropes, being ballsy enough to unclip the main rope and throw it over a higher branch while remaining attached with just the safety line. Not bad considering I use to be very scared of heights.
- Every thunder storm in Sri Lanka.
- Discovering the amazing variety of insect life across the continents, falling in love with it all and finally making a friend as interested in it as me.
- Every trip to a vulture restaurant and skipping through the carcass remains to collect vulture feathers.
- Learning to track and successfully finding a tricksy tortoise, massive thanks to my good friend Matt for that.
- Attending my first international wildlife conservation conference and giving a short talk.
- Walking through Kruger National Park on foot and hearing hippos ‘laugh’ for the first time.
- Discovering the deliciousness of Sri Lankan lunch packets.
- Meeting some of the most knowledgeable and friendly animal people and being able to call them my friends, special mentions to Dinal, Anya, Lindy and John.
- Having to leg it from a charging hippo.
- The whirlwind of emotions when looking through vulture nest camera trap pictures. The joy of seeing an egg hatch but, then the sadness as you continue to click through and see the chick devoured by a predator.
18. Being introduced to the wonderful concept of sun-downers and the world of gin and tonic