quinta-feira, 20 de dezembro de 2012

The experience of a volunteer from Austria at the Faia Brava Reserve

Work experience at FAIA BRAVA
from Yvonne Markl

I spent the whole August 2012 together with the staff from ATN in the great Reserva Faia Brava. I’m from Austria so it was a huge difference in the landscape and a surprise how beautiful it is there.

In my role of volunteer I helped where I could; fire surveillance, watering the tree nursery, feeding the vultures, observing birds and horses, helping with some guests.

My favourite job was to support Eduardo Realinho, the bird expert, as an assistant for his thesis about the artificial feeding of scavenger birds. I enjoyed to observe their impressive flights, to learn more about their behaviour and to be in direct contact with nature – every day!
A very special ex­perience was also the fire surveillance. Sometimes we had great fun, sitting somewhere for hours, some­times it was almost like meditation, watching the sunset.

On the weekends I joined my colleague Eduardo with the guided tours through the reserve. It was interesting, entertaining but almost every day hot, as well. I learned more about the portuguese culture, for example that dinner is at 21.00, that in the smaller villages every­body is welcome for a soup and that the portuguese language is more difficult than I had assumed before.

Summerizing I enjoyed my time in Portugal, even if sometimes I felt a bit lost because of my bad Portuguese. The young and dynamic team is funny and capable at the same time. The nature is one of the most amazing landscapes I’ve ever seen. There is still so much to discover, so I will definitly come back!
Thank you Yvonne for all your enthusiasm and good work. We hope to see you around at Faia Brava!