I will begin this post by saying that you will not be seeing photos of the Iberian wolves with respects to my legal agreement with the recovery center stating that I will not be sharing any photos of the wolves on any media platform. Instead, brace yourselves for sunset/sunrise photos from up on the mountain and of some of the lovely people I worked with.
At the beginning of summer, I hopped on a plane to Lisbon to start the first volunteer project I have ever been on. I signed up with the IVHQ organization and couldn’t have been more satisfied with how things went. Their fees are the best for longer periods of volunteering and the procedure is flawless.
After the first day of getting acquainted with the other volunteers and the local ImpacTrip who handled our stay, they took us on a 45-minute drive out to the greater Lisbon area where we were dropped off at the Centro de Recuperação do Lobo Ibérico managed by Grupo Lobo. We met with the local staff and were briefed on how our daily life was going to be like for the next two weeks.
The project consisted mainly of taking care of the environment around the wolf enclosures, never letting their water bowls dry up and of course, preparing and doing the feedings. Although while we were up there, a fire – for reasons that are still unclear – was started on the other mountain so to be on the safer side, we had to go on what we called “fire rounds” which we worked on the buddy system and took them in shifts. I ended up on a 3AM-6AM shift and it was pretty surreal to be back up on a mountain in Portugal, underneath the constellations with a buddy to talk to and play cards with – when this happened last year (under different, more desperate, circumstances, but that’s a different story) I thought it was a one-time thing but I was elated to re-live that in a way.
I got to the center with nine other volunteers and I left the mountain with nine friends – plus Virgilio, a sixty-something local staff member whom everyone adored. We had our downs but the ups were an amazing experience with an amazing group of people.
Over the weekend, the group would decide to go on a day trip or two. I went along on one to Lisbon to meet up with a friend afterwards and another to Ericeira – which is shown below.
Summer kicked off with a great start!