Borrego Springs, CA

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Almost like family

Sometimes I am asked why I mainly volunteer at National Wildlife Refuges.  There are a number of reasons.  I love wildlife, and where better to see and find such life than by living on a refuge?  My volunteer work usually involves a variety of experiences.  While doing bird counts and tours is my favorite, I also get to interact with the public in the visitor centers, and work with our youth that attend refuge education programs.  There hasn't been a refuge yet where I haven't learned something new.  Learning keeps the mind pliable and is very important to me in my selection of volunteer locations.  Air boat activities, pelican banding, marsh restoration, bears, alligators, wolves, and ocelots are the icing on the cake!  BUT....the most important reason to me is that volunteering on National Wildlife Refuges is like coming home and being with family.

Today was a good example of the thoughtfulness and care that I have been shown at our refuges.  This morning, I received an email from my sister that suggested it would be wise for me to journey to Chicago in the very near future.  My mother's condition is deteriorating quickly, and my sister feels her passing is not too far off.  I knew this was coming, but didn't think so soon. 

That got me thinking of my options.  I decided I didn't want to leave the rig here at Anahuac NWR because of the rodent problem.  Having an empty rig for a week or so would be a disaster.  So I gave a call to my next location, Balcones Canyonlands NWR, and asked if they had a site available for my early arrival and explained how I would have to quickly leave for an unspecified amount of time. 

They assured me that a site would be ready for me at the beginning of next week (as I had requested).  What a relief that was!  Then I called the vet I had visited in Lago Vista last year to see if they had a kennel.  They did and said they could be flexible with Emma's arrival and departure dates.  One more detail worked out.

In the meantime, Anahuac offered their sympathy and told me not to worry about having to bale out two weeks early.

This afternoon, I got an email from Rob Iski, the volunteer coordinator, at Balcones stating that not only would the site be available while I travel to Chicago, but that they do not expect me to put in any hours for the time I am set up there before, during or after my sad journey.  In fact, they said I could take all the time I needed once I returned to rest and recuperate.  Now I ask you, how thoughtful is that?  Like I said....just like family.

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later,  Judy

1 comment:

  1. I am glad for you that you are able to work out the details so quickly, and I will be thinking about your mother and your family.

    I find National Park Service folks to be kind and very accommodating as well. The people you and I have had good experiences with are a credit to the federal government, and especially its employees at local levels.