Jenny Baker is online!!!!!
Hahahahaha, finally! My dear friends and family will no doubt be surprised by the appearance of a blog – an actual blog written by me!! They all know that although I have a FB page I am not using it very often, I’ve never used twitter or instagram, never posted a photo nor updated my status, rarely commented or liked and my profile picture is 5 years old! Admittedly though I have recently been using the messenger facility more to keep in touch with far-flung friends around the globe and I actually enjoy that very much. That’s as far as it has gone…until now.
So what happened? Why am I writing this blog? All will be revealed in good time my dear friends.
These words are coming to you all the way from the Philippines! I am here to embrace a change of career – from hospitality to marine conservation. Enabling me to do that is the remarkable Zoox organisation.
During my 12 years in hospitality I have had a marvellous time wherever I’ve been working – in ski resorts, summer resorts or on cruise ships. My career has taken me to beautiful, interesting places such as Alaska, Colorado, Panama Canal, South America, many of the Caribbean islands, Slovenia, Iceland and to the countries on the Mediterranean. I’ve made wonderful friends, enjoyed my work and been able to do the activities I love – snowboarding, scuba diving and snorkelling amongst others.
It was after 5 years of working on ships and 7 years working summer and winter seasons that I felt a career change was necessary. Working in customer service/guest relations can be extremely satisfying – you are helping your guests to have a good holiday, resolving issues and making people happy. However I yearned to do something else, equally rewarding but I didn’t know what.
I began my search by looking at different volunteer projects in order to see what I could get involved in. What I discovered is that there are projects all over the world for everything imaginable. Many appealed to me but I soon realised I was drawn to the ones involving marine life and the opportunity to scuba dive.
Four months later I was in Madagascar on a 6 week expedition advancing my diving qualification and taking the plunge into learning about marine conservation. After intense training and studying we began to conduct ‘scientific dives’ – collecting data about the coral reefs and the species of fishes on them. We learnt the important role the reefs have, not only for the fish and other creatures who inhabit them but also for the people who live near them. I loved it and knew I wanted to do more to contribute to the marine conservation effort.
However, having only this limited experience in Madagascar and a non-scientific background meant that finding a job I could apply for in the marine conservation sector was rather challenging.
Fast forward to 6 months later and determined not to give up on getting into marine conservation I decided to try and get more volunteer experience. I found the Zoox website and the 8 week course which combines learning the nitty gritty details of how the marine conservation sector functions with practical work experience. I knew immediately I wanted to apply for it, because I would gain the background knowledge that I knew I needed as well as find out what kind of jobs a) are available, b) I would like and c) be good at.
Now here I am in the Philippines on the course!
One key piece of information we have learnt is how social media is used to raise awareness of conservation issues and one of our tasks is to write a blog!
Before I sign off, I’d like to share some sad and worrying images I found that show the consequences of not disposing of our rubbish properly.
So there you have it – my very first blog! This was a huge step for me but this is just my first one; there are more to come. I’ll tell you more about the course and life in the Philippines another time, until then folks, recycle your rubbish and refuse single use plastic bags – it all helps to protect our precious animals of the sea.
Thanks for reading!