Two summers ago, I was lucky enough to participate in International Bird Rescue's Wildlife Rehabilitation Internship at their San Francisco Bay center. That's a long series of words to mean that for 3 months in 2015, I worked and lived at their wildlife center in Fairfield, CA. I always wanted to write about it for this blog, but never got around to it. There is simply so much to say. So I'm starting a little series. Every now and then, I'll write up another little piece of what happened that summer, and what it meant to me. This is Part 1: where.
I applied for this internship with International Bird Rescue because it sounded like the coolest thing I had ever heard of. Past Ioana was right to think so - it turned out to be even cooler than I could have possibly imagined. The application process was straightforward, and would be familiar to anyone who has ever applied to anything in their entire life. I submitted a letter of interest, my resume, and two recommendation letters. After some time, I got interviewed over the phone. After some more time, I got the incredibly exciting news that they wanted me to join them for the summer. I moved in on May 21, 2015, only a week after finishing my sophomore year of college.
|If you don't know me, this picture should give you a pretty good idea of who I am as a person. Yes, my eyes are sealed shut in the very first picture of me at IBR.|
|The next morning. My first full day of work, and my first day flying the IBR logo!|
I am the type of person who wants to have some sort of idea where I am. I want to locate myself. When I moved to Fairfield for these 3 months, I immediately hungered to understand what Fairfield looked like and felt like. I already had some sort of context because Fairfield is almost smack-dab in the middle of the two cities that I call home, Davis and Berkeley. I had driven through it plenty of times in my life, but never had the occasion to explore. Now that I had moved into this wildlife center on the outskirts of the city, I found myself somewhere familiar, and yet completely new. I remember looking out at the hills, and the railroad tracks, and the road that slithered away into trees and fields, and thinking "I'm going out there." Only 3 days after moving in, I hiked up onto the nearest, biggest hill, and found one of the places that has stayed with me to this day.
|My favorite field.|
|It was a great place to see hawks, too!|
|A different outing, on the other side of the hill.|
|Another view. IBR is visible as a cluster of buildings bookended by trees, to the left of the big road.|
As interns, we worked 4 days out of the week, and had 3 days off. I spent many of my free mornings, afternoons, and evenings climbing and sliding around those fields and dips and peaks. One evening, I sat in my favorite field to watch the sun set over the next row of hills, and looked down at the freeway that would take me home to Davis in the east, and home to Berkeley in the west. I never shook the feeling that somehow, this internship was both a midway point, and something entirely new. It made sense to be there. It was the right time to be there. I had a lot left to learn.