Postcards from Malta: ups and downs

We often get to see the sun rise and set!

But who makes up the ‘we’?

For obvious reasons, I’m not going to tell you how many volunteers there are or how many teams go out to monitor the migrating birds and sedentary hunters. But as I write this the following nationalities are represented by at least one volunteer:

Austria, Australia, Croatia, England, Holland, Malta and New Zealand!

In the past, volunteers from Denmark, Scotland, Wales, France, Germany, Finland, Italy have helped in the battle against wildlife crime. It doesn’t matter what age or sex you are, your religion (if any), your sexual orientation; it does matter that you care about wildlife crime and want to make a difference.

We stay in an hotel – some sharing rooms, some like me don’t (I need to have my own own space, it helps to process the day’s events, to deal with the pain, the frustration, the joy, the satisfaction, the driving). By the way, as hire cars are used by BirdLife Malta, to drive you have to be over 21 years old – I just about pass that criteria 🙂

One of the many benefits of volunteering here is meeting people from different countries, cultures, careers and backgrounds. It’s great to see people who’ve never met before, bond over the common cause. To share stories of experiences and life. This Camp has had a great mix of age and experience.

It’s 04:45 (Malta time) and as I sit in the airport ready to leave the country, part of me is with the teams going out this morning. There are a few more days of Camp left – the dates coincide with migration periods – but there will be other ‘missions’ taking place afterwards. Perhaps to follow up on intelligence gathered during the Camp or to revisit sites where hunters have been behaving differently or have been aggressive (only yesterday in two separate exchanges, BirdLife Malta teams stood their ground whilst being shouted at, calling the red faced shooters’ bluffs that they were on private land (they weren’t) “I call the police” “Go on, then” sums up the conversations).

I’ll be back and so will others. There will be new volunteers. This is the penultimate postcard. The last one will be a summary of the ‘rules’ – info. on the law, what can be shot legally etc. as well as a small paragraph on how you can help.

And, of course, I chose the Immigration Queue that moved the slowest.