Intern Story

My CCF Experience – From Virginia to Namibia

  • by Emma Fralin July 10, 2017
My CCF Experience – From Virginia to Namibia

I think the most significant thing about CCF is meeting people from all over the world. I can honestly say I have never met a group of more interesting and genuine individuals. In these past three weeks I have made memories and friends I will hold close to my heart forever.

I originally found CCF from researching internships, and then I was encouraged to apply by my best friend after her Bio lab TA (Dave “the Birdman” Millican) told her class about his research here. I saved up to come to CCF for three weeks, and it has been the best three weeks of my life.

I am currently studying Animal Science at my university (Virginia Tech); I think my major may change when I return to the States. Not that I didn’t love doing goat checks every morning, but I love dogs more. While I hope to become a vet one day, I don’t know what track I will choose yet. Working with cheetahs here has made me realize how difficult wildlife veterinary medicine is.

I really enjoyed the cheetah runs and working with the dogs. I also loved going into the field and on game counts. I was lucky enough to be at CCF during the waterhole count, where we sit quietly in a hide for twelve hours counting animals, which isn’t as bad as it sounds.

A highlight of my time here was saving my days off to visit Etosha, where we saw an enormous herd of elephants, giraffe, lions, and lots of other great animals.

Almost every day a group of us interns would run after work. What made it so special were the stunning sunsets each night mid-run. Every night we stayed at the Hotspot, CCF’s outdoor communal dining area, long after dinner finished, talking around a campfire.

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