As sad as I am to see such a fun and busy summer end, I am super excited for my third year at TAMU!
The past few months have been packed with adventure and meaningful experiences. To start off the summer break, Angelica, a fellow CVM Ambassador and mentor, and I attended a two week pre-vet program in Chintsa, South Africa!
We had the time of our lives and got to interact with so many different types of animals and amazing people. It was my first time abroad, and it made me want to travel again as soon as possible!
My favorite part of the trip was the interactions we had with the giraffes. One was with a giraffe named Abby that lived on a reserve and had been raised by humans since birth because him was orphaned. Abby is a very friendly giraffe and loves people, especially when they feed him. We each got to take turns doing so, and Abby even licked my forehead!
Another exciting experience was that we got to be involved with a giraffe capture in an effort to relocate a male giraffe to a different reserve, which allows conservationists to maintain a diverse gene pool!
During the rest of the summer, I stayed busy by working at the local veterinary
clinic I have been volunteering at since I was in high school. One of my volunteer activities was also with a church-based organization called Summer Lunch, for which volunteers set up a pavilion tent at an elementary school park each weekday during the summer to distribute paper bag lunches to children in need of a meal, as well as to their other family members. It was such a rewarding experience for me because I love working with kids, and being able to provide them with something so important to their everyday lives was wonderful.
Another volunteer job I had was at the Dallas Zoo! I enjoyed working with and learning about exotic animals so much in South Africa that I wanted to continue it.
At the zoo, I worked at their Animal Nutrition Center. I got behind-the-scenes experience in helping to prepare the diets for the zoo’s thousands of animals! It was very interesting to see what each animal ate and how much food they needed to consume on a daily basis. I plan to continue volunteering there whenever I go back home for school breaks!