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|December 30, 2012 - Josh Davis|
After 36 long hours of traveling I finally arrived in South Africa. I was so happy to get off of the plane and out into some fresh air, but even more happy to get to see Cape Town! However, my travels weren't quite over yet. A man named Ephraim picked me up from the airport and educated me a little bit about Cape Town and the surrounding area while he drove me to Louise's house. Louise works at SANCCOB and agreed to bring me from her house to Carole's house. Carole also works at SANCCOB and graciously agreed to let me stay at her house while she's away on vacation. This works out perfect since the cottage where I'll be staying for a majority of my trip is not yet available. Louise has also agreed to pick me up for work every morning and bring me back every evening. The generosity of the people I meet here never ceases to amaze me. After I dropped off my luggage at Carole's and took a small tour of her house Louise and I were off again!
The most exciting part of my day was getting to see SANCCOB for the first time! Louise brought me for a quick tour so I could get to see the facility and meet some of the others who work there. SANCCOB has a beautiful view of Table Mountain and even though today it was quite foggy it was still impossible to miss. Louise brought me inside and the first thing she showed me was home pen. Home pen is where SANCCOB keeps birds that cannot be released back into the open ocean. Even though I was standing inside the facility I still could not believe I was there. While Louise ran a quick errand I was allowed to walk around and meet some of the other people that work and volunteer at SANCCOB. I was very excited to meet Nola! Nola is SANCCOB's veterinarian and it was so nice to finally meet her in person after hearing so many wonderful things about her. Nola was also very I busy so I took advantage of this time to walk around and get myself acquainted with the facility. I introduced myself to some of the volunteers and looked around at all of the chicks. I even at one point found myself helping to thaw out some fish to feed to the penguins.
When Louise returned we had one more errand to run before she brought me to a grocery store. A local restaurant had called and said they had an injured bird. Louise brought me with her to go pick it up. On the way I was able to see some even more stunning views of Cape Town. The beaches are gorgeous. When we arrived at the restaurant they handed Louise a box containing a seagull. We brought it back to SANCCOB so it could be looked at. As we were arriving, Cheryl, a volunteer, was also bringing back a kelp gull someone else had found. It was immediately evident that this facility is definitely a busy one!
After getting everything squared away at SANCCOB Louise brought me grocery shopping so that I could pick up a few things for the next few days. Once finished she brought me back to Carole's house where I was able to shower and get some rest. She'll be back tomorrow to pick me up at 7:15 for my first day of work. I've told countless guests of our penguin encounter programs all about our work in helping the conservation efforts of the African penguin and I'm so excited to have the opportunity to help out in such a direct way! Goodnight from South Africa!
Skittish African Penguins cross a road on Robben Island in South Africa.
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