Leaving Wildtracks...thoughts on leaving from Molly
For many people, leaving Wildtracks at the end of their stay is filled with emotions. Having to leave the animals you've cared for and the friends you've made after immersing yourself in the Wildtracks lifestyle, even for a month, is extremely hard for many. I have been lucky enough to avoid leaving and saying goodbye to everything twice by extending my placement. Now on my third attempt at a departure date I'm finally sitting at the Belize airport.
Leaving doesn't seem real at all. Even though I've gone through security and checked my bags, in my mind I am still going to be falling asleep at the Wildtracks supper table tonight. I have been lucky enough to stay and volunteer at Wildtracks for over eight months now and I can 100% say I am not the same person the walked on this tarmac in January.
Volunteering at Wildtracks is the chance of a lifetime, I know of nowhere else where I could get the kind of experiences I have had here. During my eight months here I have had the opportunity to work with the pre-release howler monkeys and see four of them released into the wild, I was able to see new cages built (including most of the new Spider Monkey Complex) and old ones torn down, I saw 17 new monkeys rescued as well as 2 manatee calves - and best of all, I was able to watch as those 19 new animals improved, becoming stabilized, healthy animals that are now being prepared for their release into the wild.
There is no way to explain to someone who has not experienced it themselves how amazing life at Wildtracks is. For the first time in my life getting up at six in the morning for a twelve hour workday. seven days a week, was not a problem. Not that I became a morning person, as many can attest, but I was glad and excited to get out of bed everyday to work with the animals and people I love so much. Everyday has been different and exciting.
Going back to the States is going to be a big adjustment, but there is no way I would trade one second of my time at Wildtracks for anything. It truly was an experience of a lifetime. I was able to learn so much and make so many life long friends. I think it will always be a significant part of my life - if I had not gone to Wildtracks, I would have never have believed I could work with animals. Now that may, indeed, be a possibility and there is no way to say thank you enough for the range of experiences that the organization has .
For some reason, things rarely happen as they are planned in life - but maybe that is for the better.
Published by: Zoe Walker at 2014-09-18 13:52:45 [Link to this article]
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