Some of A Rocha volunteers return as visitors or as in this case to do partnerships and send new students. Their experience at A Rocha made them realize how unique this place is!
Anouschka Hof – 38 years old, Dutch
I studied Wildlife Ecology and Nature Conservation in Wageningen University and I did my Phd at the Royal Holloway in London. Now I am an assistant Professor in Wageningen University, Netherlands. I work in Conservation and the impacts of climate change in bird and mammal populations. I first came to A Rocha in 2005 as an EVS volunteer. I heard from a friend about the EVS program and I searched for places where I could apply. I found out about A Rocha Netherlands and I had an interview there and they told me about Portugal, they were my ‘sending’ organization. I really wanted to do the EVS after my studies, and the projects here really got me enthusiastic. My projects here were mainly to do with Nature Conservation, Environmental Education and Ornithology. I did a project with the Little Owl, analysed the ringing database and I did some habitat mapping. My last visit I came as a visitor but to work as well! I want to send students to do little projects at A Rocha.
I was here for almost 1 year. It’s like a second home away from home. Every time I come here I feel good.
My favourite bird is for sure the Hoopoe!
Lindy Schneider – 24 years old, Dutch, Student
Between 9.00pm and 11.00pm I go out to survey Little Owls. I do this by playing a tape of a male territory call and recording the answering little owls in the area. I also record the distance and direction of the calls and hopefully by the end of my 6 weeks here I’ll have an estimation of the numbers of breeding pairs and where their territories are.
I really like being here. The weather and food is for sure better than in the Netherlands! I like joining the individual projects and just having fun with my fellow volunteers: going places, cooking together and even while doing the dishes. I’m looking forward to going birding more in the Algarve!
My favourite bird, if I could choose anything, it would be the Kōkako an endangered species of New Zealand. I have too many European favourites and there are too many birds I haven’t seen yet, but I’d probably choose Goldcrests, or Dippers.