So I’ve now been over a week in my flat and its the end of my first week volunteering at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and so far I’m loving Brisbane. My flat is pretty cheap for all the things that are included and I now have consistent internet access even if I only have a phone to browse the wifi with. My flatmates are great and so far along with a friend from Tamworth we all celebrated the Swedish tradition of Lucia which was fun. Apparently, I have to do Burns Night in January as well so I’ll have my work cut out for me trying to find a haggis in Australia. But I have a while to practice my Burns poetry and I’m working on some Christmas decorations before then so our flat looks a little festive.
As for the volunteering I’m having a lot of fun. A lot of hard work and the temperatures are around 30 to 35 every day so I’m really struggling in the heat and humidity. But despite that, there’s a lot of time spent on the inside of cages mainly cleaning and feeding but its cool to spend your day working with Australia’s weird and wonderful animals. So far I’ve fed the Tasmanian devils and the Roos who bounce at you on mass as soon as they realise you have food. There are a lot of colourful birds and a few eagles in the park as well but as cool as it is to be inside the enclosures with them, I am always very aware that they are watching me very closely and its a little creepy.
Wombats are a lot bigger than I thought and platypus a little smaller. With animals everywhere I’m very much at home in the Koala park, chasing water dragons and bush turkeys along every path as I walk along. Even though there’s plenty of exotic animals, having worked in the various sections of the park, I think my favourite day so far has been spent at the petting zoo section. Twice a day there are animal handling sessions with the guinea pigs and little chicks for the kids but its lots of fun for me especially since I’m running the show. Scary to start with when you have 20 exciting kids wanting to cuddle the baby chickens but it all turned out ok. We only do the animal handling for 15 minutes because straight after is the birds of prey show and its just a bit too tempting when the children are holding dinner for them. Its a little awkward when the kids ask if the chicks will stay on the farm when they get bigger. I chose not to explain that they stay in the petting zoo for a maximum of two weeks before being fed to various animals in the park and then we replace them with some more cute fuzz balls for the next kids to play with.
Just now in Brisbane we are on constant storm watch with monsoon season upon us just in time for Christmas. We’ve had a few scary storms so far and we actually got trapped in a canteen room at work when the rain came on hard and the fork lighting started to strike round about us. The wind appeared so suddenly and was gale force with things were flying about so it was pretty dangerous outside. We even had to move some of the animals because their enclosures were flooding. The next day at work was mainly spent clearing up after the storm as well. If nothing else it keeps me on my toes.
Looking forward to next week.