Communing with an East African Crowned Crane
Photo: Steve Martin-Natural Encounters, Inc.
I just received some wonderful news. I have been granted an internship at the Cincinnati Zoo. I leave in September during my vacation from my full time job.
I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading and downloading of articles and papers about the Zoo, and it’s a lot to digest. They have a variety of birds, from condors to penguins and everything in between.
I’m not sure what kind of work I’ll be doing but I’m fairly certain it involves shoveling a lot of penguin poop.
The really wonderful aspect of this is that I have been given permission to stay in the Intern House right across the street from the Zoo for an insanely small fee. This will not only save me time, but I won’t be spending a small fortune on a hotel room and car rental. I have been budgeting and scrimping to save up for the privilege of shoveling all that penguin poop, and now those funds can stay safely tucked away for another foray into the world of Aviculture.
I simply can’t express how excited I am and how privileged I feel.
I’ve always liked “doing things” on vacations as opposed to “seeing things”. If I ever went to Disney world, I wouldn’t want to “go” to Disney, I’d want to be a character for a day. I’ve been told by a friend who worked there as “Peter Pan” that due to my height, the only character I could be would be Goofy. No cute little Minnie Mouse? No 7 Dwarves, Winnie the Pooh or Eeyore? Nope. Goofy. Damn…
This particular adventure is bound to leave me smelly, dirty, tired, sore, and I don’t think I’d want it any other way.
But working in a zoo for two or three weeks? Now that’s in my top five of things I’ve always wanted to do. I do have a question however: What does one wear to shovel penguin poop?
July 17, 2008 at 5:09 pm
WOW!!! Sounds like a GREAT VACATION in Cincinnati to me, shoveling Penguin Guano at the Zoo! LOL! Don’t forget to visit a “Skyline Chili Parlor”!
July 18, 2008 at 3:41 pm
I’ll try not to miss the Skyline Chili; I’ve heard it’s unreal. Of course after a day working penguins, I’m fairly confident that at that point I would be happy with the linoleum off the floor of Skyline Chili! When I went to the Training Seminars outside of Orlando, I ate everything that wasn’t nailed down.
(For those of you who have not met me, I resemble a thermometer with eyes.)
But as my Cousin, Bonny says, “Ask Patricia if she’s hungry day or night and she’ll say…”I could eat.”!
I guess my thin appearance contradicts my interest in food.
July 22, 2008 at 11:08 pm
Congratulations. What an exciting opportunity!
July 23, 2008 at 7:11 am
I’m pretty excited about it, actually. I had to go get a tetnus booster shot and a T.B. test yesterday, so my arm aches a bit, but I survived.
Once I fill out all of the paperwork and releases, (I guess these cover the zoo in case I get kicked by an Emu or something… ) and include the shot and test Certification, I’m good to go.
I’m already putting together a list of all the stuff I need to bring with me for 2 or 3 weeks of smelling like penguin scat.
I imagine I’ll be filthy for most of the day, but I can’t imagine a more interesting vacation. Well, I can, but that’s going to be next year!
I’m already reseaching the Birds they have at their facility, as what I know about penguins come from watching “Happy Feet”, and “March of the Penguins”!
July 23, 2008 at 8:47 am
Fantastic, Patricia! When you are finished at Cincinnati how about snagging a couple of those penguins for the SM pool?
July 23, 2008 at 9:07 am
Wouldn’t that be terrific?
It would take a LOT of ice to keep them cool down in Florida!
And I’m not so sure the “Senior Set” would appreciate all that honking!
Seriously, I’m very excited about this particular adventure. The concept of a working vacation such as this one should be embraced by more people. There are all kinds of opportunities out there, and it follows the old adage: “Change of work is rest.”
The work will be hard and dirty, but I know I’m going to have blast.
February 12, 2009 at 5:23 pm
Hey! You don’t know me but I am currently applying for an internship at the cincinnati zoo. I’ve been working on my resume and cover letter all week. I decided to try and goggle some blogs about the internship there and stumbled upon yours. It seems like you had a blast!! I was wondering if there was any advice you would give to someone who is going through the application process? Any little bit would help! Thank you!!
February 17, 2009 at 5:41 pm
All advice and information has been sent to you. I gave the Zoo a “heads-up” about your impending application…Have a good time! And by the way? Get used to smelling like fish!