I am a little older than my ZEP family – they are all budding scientists starting their journey and using this amazing experience as a jumping point for what will be a fabulous career. I am no where near the end of my journey but I have been out of university for several years – I graduated in 2002 and completed my masters after several years of travelling and diving in 2010.I have been working at the Eden Project for 3 years and I am grateful for them for allowing me to take some time away to come to the Philippines. I wanted to enhance my career path with some marine conservation experience and hopefully take it back to the UK and to the conservation group I run with another marine industry enthusiast!
However, I couldn’t come to the Philippines without my other half. My husband is also a diver and is self employed as a photographer. He has a great eye for the landscape as well as the people he meets who can’t help but laugh along with him. Wilkie is a character in his own right and when I asked if he could come along he was accepted with open arms. I think it is the first time a partner has joined but he is now one of the group. He has done photo shoots for the ZEP as well as the Stairway Foundation and Reef-World Foundation that also operate out of sleep Aninuan village. He has supplied us with biscuits and ice cream (tubs are now piled up in our room unless they are used for ‘samples!’ and is always the person to go to for a pep talk. It’s been such a good experience and I am grateful that we are a such a good group and that Wilkie has become one of the family too. We are in the final 2 weeks of the course now and we have a busy fortnight ahead – bring it on I say – there is nothing we can’t do!!