For the first time in a very long time, I’m was constantly in a state of FOMO – fear of missing out. From day one of being at Twala, I’ve learned that we are here to give these beautiful animals a second chance at life. It broke my heart to hear some of their stories, but at the same time, I felt so privileged to be a part of this team to help care for them during my two week stay. From the meticulous way their food is prepared and presented to the level of thought and detail of which each enclosure is fashioned, anyone visiting Twala will see that these animals are truly loved.
My favorite experiences at Twala include visiting two bush babies who like to climb all over you, caring for a bunch of rollie pollie puppies, and assisting in a wonderful dog clinic that takes place every Wednesday. As I’m learning more about the Zimbabwean culture, dogs are such an integral part of life here. However, many of these people who live in the villages can barely afford to put food on the table for their families. Therefore, Twala runs a wonderful clinic to help feed, vaccinate, and sterilize the dogs in the community. Every single one of them gets a full meal of chicken! It’s such a rewarding experience and one that I will never forget.
Twala is constantly growing, and they are taking in new animals and releasing rehabilitated ones almost everyday. Education and conservation is their utmost priorities, and I have learned more than I can imagine in the short time I have been here. I loved the staff here, as they are always willing to impart knowledge to a hungry mind. I loved sitting on the porch and watching all the animals live harmoniously in the garden. I loved the warm welcomes I received everyday from Kiko, the housedog; Horace, the vervet monkey; Sheila, the cockatoo; all the house cats, and the lovely hellos from Leila and Skittles, the duikers. I also loved that every night, I fell asleep to a chorus of roaring lions, howling dogs, and singing birds. It’s just such a magical place.
You won’t be sitting around doing nothing here. There’s always a project going on, furry critters to play with, or enrichment toys to make. The staff is just fabulous too, and they are always there to support you in your daily activities. Your mornings will start off early and more often than not, you will feel absolutely bushed after a long days work. However, in the end, you know it’s all worth it because you made a difference in the animals’ lives. Knowing that is the best reward.