Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Snakes, Crocodiles, India... Oh My!

"If you are interested in total immersion into the culture of India (YES!) and enjoy rustic living (depends), apply for this trip to India with Professor Steve Myers. You will meet world renowned herpetologist and conservationist Rom Whitaker as well as the experienced staff at India's largest crocodilian breeding facility, the Madras Crocodile Bank (Sweet!). See how this famed facility is racing against time to save some of the most imperiled species on Earth. You will accompany the legendary snake trackers of India(wait, what? Did you just say, snake trackers?!), the indigenous Irula, as they collect venomous snakes for venom extraction which will go into the production of anti-venom. Learn about the secrets of the medicinal plants used by the Irula people. You will take a 16 hour train ride across exotic southern India to Agumbe Rainforest Research Station in the remote wilderness of the Western Ghats. This is the only King Cobra preserve in the world. (Okay. Now there are King Cobras? Like super poisonous cobras?! Seriously?!?!) Learn about the fascinating research which is taking place here with the largest venomous snake in the world as well as other amazing studies that are taking place here in one of the great Biodiversity Hotspots on the planet."

This is the course description for the short-term (meaning two weeks) study abroad trip to India through Valencia. I'm like 90% sold on going. I have had this super bad travel bug, well, my whole life. Recently it has been worse because all of my friends are studying abroad or have studies abroad and I'm jealous! India is one of my all-time destinations to visit. I really really want to go there. My problems for not being able to go abroad were money, the fact that I would miss Ben wayyy to much and the timing. This program is 2 weeks, right after finals and all of my friends' weddings that are happening in the same week. I will be there for New Years and my 22nd birthday, but hey, that could be legit! Also, the program can be paid for through my financial aid that I receive. I can also get scholarships for it. I can take two weeks off of work and I'll be back in just enough time to start Spring '12 semester (I'm pretty sure I land the Monday that classes start.... after a 28 hour flight). Right now I'm nervous, because I feel like something should be stopping me. Something has to because this is too good to be true (well, with the exception of snakes!). Only 9 students can go. I need to head over to Valencia and talk to the advisors and see if they have any road blocks for me (I'm sure they will). I think I"m going to go though the motions and we'll see what happens. Who knows. I might be in a foreign country in about 6 months!!!!

These are the pictures from the last trip that Valencia did:

(This will be me... with a snake and awesome hands)

(I will be in a picture similar to this one... I'll prob. be that girl in the front... She just saw a snake. It wasn't amusing)

(I will be that girl, about to get wacked with a cricket paddle-thing)

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Thanks for the comment you sweet person you! If it is a question or something for me to reply to, check back here as I tend to answer through the comments. I appreciate all the love!

Love Kaylee


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