A Manic Few Weeks

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind! I have now completely moved out of Carlisle and come back home in Hertfordshire to spend time with my family and Cockapoo puppy, who at five years old is finally starting to calm down.

I’ve been back for a fourth visit to the Warner Bros Studio Tour of Harry Potter, and was throughly impressed by the new Forbidden Forest, not to mention the Butterbeer ice cream. I won’t give away too many spoilers as it’s an incredible place that you need to see to truly believe. I’ve been a Harry Potter fanatic for a million years and always get teary-eyed when I go. Even my Uncle Rod who was indifferent to Harry Potter ended up taking dozens of photos.


I’ve also had my final results from university and was thrilled to discover I achieved first class honours, though I have to wait until November until graduation! It seems as though I shall need the cap and gown to keep me warm after spending the summer in the much hotter south.


But I barely had time to celebrate my results before I managed to secure an internship at an animal sanctuary in Florida! I will be working for SEZARC (South East Zoo Alliance for Reproduction and Conservation) and I’ll be getting involved with a lot of lab work. One of SEZARC’s main lines of work is carrying out health studies to try and resolve reproductive issues that rare and endangered animals face when breeding.

It’s such an exciting and important area of conservation and something I’ve never had the chance to get involved with. I’m so excited to begin, but I’ll need to wait a little longer yet. I fly out at the start of August and work for two months before returning at the end of September. Just yesterday I booked all my flights as well as an international driving licence. Driving in America is quite a daunting prospect but seeing as there is no public transport in that part of Florida, I don’t have much choice! I’m quite nervous about going so far alone but I know I’ll love it once I get into the swing of things.

Now I have all of July to continue preparations for my extraordinary expedition! I dread to think how long my packing list will be…

The Aluna Experience

As part of a module called Technique and Technical Process, we had to complete a group task which involved watching a documentary and analysing how the ‘plot’ developed. For this we had to find a specific example that covered more than simple fact, but one that told a story of something or someone unknown to us – a docudrama of sorts.

After some rigorous research, we stumbled across a documentary from 2012 called Aluna, which starred a mysterious indigenous people from Colombia, named the Kogi tribe. The belief of the Kogi is that they live to care for the world and ensure its future survival. As a result of the ruthless mining and deforestation that have become global cataclysms, our world is critically damaged. The Kogi describe the world as ‘Mother’ and mankind as ‘Younger Brother’, and blame the loss of biodiversity on what we have done to our planet.

Deeply secretive, the Kogi people dislike strangers, and yet they felt strongly enough for their cause to allow a camera crew into their lives and record their story on film. For me, this level of commitment and passion was very humbling. I couldn’t imagine many people in first-world countries sacrificing their equivalent of their most prized possession, just to encourage conservation.

There was no real resolution at the end of the documentary in that, as of yet, there has not been evidence of the world responding to the Colombian tribe’s plea. However, in a way the Yogi have succeeded, because they have reached out to millions of people through the documentary. It is available for anyone to see, so their message has been successfully spread. I only hope this message is driven home for enough people to realise that conserving our planet is no longer mildly important – it is now a necessity.

Please have a look at the website for the documentary.