A word from a visiting volunteer

Viola Kleinicke, 3 week placement volunteer

After I had finished school I was looking for a job, project or organization where I could gain new experiences. I worked a lot in hotels, restaurants and coffee shops but I wanted to find something totally different before starting my apprenticeship in occupational therapy.

Accidentally, I found out about the Scottish Invasive Species Initiative (SISI) project on the internet and fortunately they agreed to host me for a three-week internship. In advance, Karen and Al (the local SISI Project Officers) helped find accommodation for me in a shared student apartment and for the second part of the internship I was camping at the Findhorn Foundation.

Finally, my internship started and I was welcomed by friendly, warm and funny people. Most of the time it was hard work, crawling through bushes to find and cut Giant hogweed, but it felt easy because of the fun and laughs we had together.  I also had the opportunity to take part in an animal tracking course, learned about invasive species, and I learned a lot about the anatomy of birds and fish.

I was amazed how diverse the tasks in this kind of job are: On top of the work against invasive species, the work demands a lot of creativity – at events I coloured in fish masks with children and I helped to craft a giant hogweed with paper, felt, glue and wire.

I would recommend to everyone who likes adventures, being in nature, new tasks and wants to get an insight to a varied job, to take the chance to volunteer with the SISI project. Thanks to the three project officers (Karen, Al and James) I had an unforgettable time, a lot of fun and on top of that I got to see beautiful, unpopulated places in Scotland.

 Thank you Al, Karen and James

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