ZP Week Four: Hand Feeding , Holding and Houdini

I’ve had a really amazing week here and feel like I’ve progressed a lot. In myself I can feel I’m more confident with the work and comfortable around the seals. I’ve also been trusted with a larger range of tasks and responsibilities (hmm, could it be connected I wonder…).

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So This Is Christmas…

… and what have you done?

What were you doing at 2pm on Christmas Day? If I were home, it would be about the end of a customary long dog walk. I would shower, maybe peel some potatoes if pressured, watch Christmas telly and generally wait for parental permission to drink wine and open presents (the relative importance of the wine and the presents has shifted over the years).

Today, I was at a seal necropsy, because nothing says festive like internal organs. But let’s start at the beginning.

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ZP Week Three: A Perfect Day

The days have all started to blur into one a little, even though they’re very different in the details. This week I had three ‘O’ (early) shifts and two ‘L’ (guess…) shifts.

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ZP Week Two: Highs and Lows

Now I’ve gotten through my first full working week here, I’m beginning to find my rhythm a little. I always think of the first week somewhere new as something of write-off as you’re always playing catch-up, learning where everything is and how everything works. The second week always seems to give me more time to settle, start building a routine of sorts, and work out my thoughts on things.

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Joline, Joline, Joline, Joline…

Yes, she is named after Dolly’s Jolene, but you can’t expect non-native English speakers to get the spelling right all the time.

The common wisdom here is that you will fall in love with the first seals you properly look after, and Pyza and Nessy from Quarantine 2 will always be special to me, but the true queen of my heart is Joline.

10/10 could steal your man

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ZP Week One: Quarantine Training and My First Day

Days Three and Four: Quarantine Training

Two days are dedicated to training in the quarantines, and thank god. These are self contained little rooms with a small pool, a kitchen, and a plateau, all of which can be gated off. This is Fase 1, where new arrivals and the sickest seals are.

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ZP Week One: Arrival and the Start of Training

I flew to the Netherlands on Sunday the 3rd of December, and then embarked on a public transport adventure to Pieterburen – two trains and a bus. The bus was more like a minibus, and as I sat there with my big rucksack and my non-existent Dutch, the driver said to me “Would you like me to stop at the seal hospital?”.

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My Next Adventure: Zeehondencentrum Pieterburen

Next week I am off to the Netherlands to spend 14 weeks as a seal care volunteer at Zeehondencentrum Pieterburen, a large and renowned seal rescue and rehabilitation centre.

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New blog from the Dwarf Mongoose Project

Just a little plug for my pal Sophie’s new blog as the project manager of the Dwarf Mongoose Project. Find out about more about her education and experiences in the little interview she did for me, and follow her for lots of cute ‘goosing news!

It’s been around 6 months, almost to the day, since I presented the results of my Master’s project to my lecturers and peers. It was anti-climactic, especially with work looming over me only a few hours later, which left me with plenty of time to not drink and enjoy my freedom, but to consider the […]

via A wild mongoose chase — Dancing with Mongooses

Filler jobs, and my first time in an office

Last week I finally got to hand in my notice at my office job, ready to head off to my next upcoming volunteer adventure on the 3rd of December. Handing in your notice is always a weird experience, a bit of guilt and nerves but also excitement and relief. Or is that just me?

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