Tuesday, February 1, 2011

a guest blog from a non-blogger.

Today is my (little) big sisters birthday! I always say Ashelle is my favourite sister, she always reminds me that she’s my only sister.

This guest blog concept is new to me. I’m not sure what I’m suppose to write about, Ashelle’s instructions were: ANYTHING! (surprisingly that advice isn’t very helpful)

I know I’ve been mentioned once in this blog as the ‘younger annoying’ sibling who mocked her for getting a bird. Although I don’t deny it in my defense it was Ashelle’s first pet bird that began an embarrassing phobia of birds. After being dive-bombed on multiple occasions by Ashelle’s first budgie I began to believe that ALL birds would peck my eyes out, if given the chance.

When I say phobia I mean it. I would drop everything I was holding to run away from a seagull, I would avoid going into pet stores, I couldn’t watch movies with animated birds. The sound of ruffling feathers, or the squeak of a bird would make me screech in a horrified and embarrassing way.

            Luckily for Ashelle I am no longer afraid of birds, and it happened in a pretty weird way...

            A few years ago I signed up for a trip that involved 2 weeks of volunteering with 2 weeks of adventure traveling. My number one choice was Croatia. My excitement the day I found out I was going is something I will never forget, the volunteer options included working with children (or so I thought) about two weeks before leaving I was officially assigned to my volunteer project… working at a sanctuary for injured griffon vultures.

            Until now my fear of birds had only existed in occasions where birds could be avoided. But here I was, about to spend 2 weeks with griffon vultures, who are not only multiple times the size of a regular bird, BUT also are suppose to be able to rip apart carcasses with their beaks.

            I arrived in Croatia terrified, not only of the birds but of embarrassing myself in front of any potential new friends. I thought maybe I could avoid being directly around the bird. But again, I was wrong. The first few hours of being at the sanctuary I received the honour of ‘playing’ with a Griffon Vulture.

            Her name was Koleda, and she was much smaller than the average vulture. How do you play with a griffon vulture? You put on a glove and dangle your hand in front of their mouth, pulling away at the last second. Amazingly I made it through with not only both my hands but both my eyes!

            In the days following I got closer to the birds, helping clean cages, watching feeding, and sometimes just admiring the vultures. 

the island i stayed on was beautiful.

i woke up to the view of this village every morning

 we swam, hiked and I even volunteered to go bird watching (although i was unaware that I had to climb a mountain to arrive at the bird watching location)

 Seeing all the volunteers at the sanctuary pour their love into protecting these birds was inspiring. How could I be so afraid of something so loved by others? I left that place feeling renewed. No longer afraid of birds.

Which is good, because as I came to realize birds cannot be avoided.
I seem to encounter birds everywhere I go and no longer give a second thought to my former phobia. 

the town i lived in last year (krakow) was FULL of birds, here's a little boy feeding some of them one morning. I stopped to take a picture, he laughed the whole time the birds were swarming him. I think if this had happened to me a few years ago I would have blacked out in fear. 

bird photobombing me in the old town square in prague

more birds creeping into my photo in Rome

SO that story being told I can say that as long as Ashelle isn’t secretly training her new feathery friend to attack me I wish her and her love all the birdie luck in the world and believe we can happily live in harmony together.

you may be shorter but i'll always look up to you! 
love you lots, and wish you all the best in this new year! 
love you always, your big little sister. 


Shybiker said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Very cute post: amusing stories, nice pictures and personal history. Great job!

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I really enjoyed reading this blog, I agree Ashelle your big little sister is an amazing writer. Wow just imagine all the talent big and little sisters have in this family!!! love you both "boos"

YoungChronos said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Ya good luck with the chickens Ashelle... lets just hope Chris doesn't get a little to hungry one day ;)


Melrose said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

AWWW, this was so sweet! and i feel like i got to know you on a whole different level :)
Happy Belated Birthday My Love!
We must get together soon! <3

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