March 30, 2006
I am excited! I spent last weekend at a conference in Yulee Florida at the most pristine, immaculate, beautiful privately owned concervation center, White Oak Plantation. There were amazing vet students from all over who are all doing amazing things to better our world. The whole thing just kept choking me up. We each shared the research we'd done over the summer thanks to our generous Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation grants (mine= "Prevalence of tuberculosis and brucellosis in milking dairy cattle in Bosawas Biosphere Reserve, Nicaragua"), had guest lecturers that talked about species conservation, animal-rescue work during the hurricanes, trap-spay/neuter-release programs and their effects on local endangered species, and so on. Definitely affirmed that I'm on the right path. I didn't even think about dancing all weekend, ha ha! Not to mention the fact that we were fed 5 star meals, had our own swimming pools and hot tubs, arcade, bowling alley, horses or bikes to ride, etc. When asked if the place was open to the public, they said "Well, we don't advertise, but if people want to stay here, we charge $600/night/person." As such, the likes of Bill Clinton, Snoop Dogg, Howard Stern, and other infamous personages have made it their escape of choice. We had personal tours of the vet clinic and animals there and (because we're vet students) got special treatment--access to touch some of the animals, for instance. Very exciting! They even offer externships and residencies and internships. I had no idea something like that existed. Very very exciting.