Ecuador or Bust
As most of you know by now, I have been working very hard in college this quarter. I've spent early mornings and long nights studying in order to pass a pre-requisite class so that I might apply for a very VERY prestigious program for Winter quarter. Well, it took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears (especially tears) but my hard work paid off. I applied for the program and was ACCEPTED!!
The program is called "Animal Behavior and Zoology" and six weeks of it will take place in Ecuador (South America). During the time I am in Ecuador I will have the opportunity to gain much-needed field work experience, which will translate to more job opportunities when I graduate in 2015.
Many of you know how passionately I've wanted to travel, though up until now I've never had the opportunity. The older I get, the less likely it seems that I will someday turn into Lara Croft and see the world through grand adventures. It's more important to me now than ever before to grasp this rare opportunity and not let it pass me by.
Yes, I could someday book a tourist trip to exotic locations around the world, but this program is something different than a vacation or sight-seeing. I would be climbing a volcano to study ecosytems, riding pack mules to high altitudes to learn about the rare species that live there, visiting islands rarely seen by man and reserved specially for researchers, and hiking through the Amazon rainforest among jaguars, monkeys, toucans, butterflies, and literally a thousand other plants and animals I would never be able to see in any zoo, anywhere. Most importantly, I would be doing all of these things with people that I have grown to trust and respect, including a professor with a reputation for creating students who are highly sought-after as graduates by employers.
In order to make this dream a reality, however, I will need substantial finacial help. My class fees and airfare should be covered by student loans, sholarships, and grants, but my general supplies will be out-of-pocket. I will need special clothing, field journals, vaccinations, food in Ecuador, etc. I've estimated these costs to be roughly $1000. I know it's unlikely that I will raise all of that amount, but every little bit helps.
Thank you to all of my friends and family who helped me get through this last quarter so that I could apply for AB&Z. I learned that hard work certainly pays off, and that I couldn't be where I am now without the support of all of you.
Now...ECUADOR OR BUST!!