Hoppo Bumpo (n): A children's game. Played by folding one's arms and hopping on one leg. Aim is to bump opponents, so that they lose their balance. Last person standing wins.

July 27, 2008

This is .... where I did my work experience

The Zoo
Originally uploaded to Flickr by

I'm not sure that I ever had genuine aspirations to be a zoo keeper, but I was certainly most privileged to be placed at the Melbourne Zoo for my high school work experience. My placement was in Birds, which I adored.

It was two weeks of good, honest hard work. There was a great deal of shovelling, raking, mowing, hosing, wheeling of barrows and hauling of food. And to this day, I remember how mortified I felt at visitor stares, when they noticed a human in an enclosure. I was a self-conscious and shy 15 year-old.

But how many people can say they have stood alone in the Great Flight Aviary, surrounded by glorious bird-song, in the golden light of early morning? Or been at just arm's length from the beautiful, doe-eyed South American flightless Rheas? Or fed the serene Tawny Frogmouths mice by hand?

It was magic.

Thank you Angela at Three Buttons who is hosting This is ... and for suggesting this week's "free format" theme. If you'd like to see who else is playing, please look over here.


  1. I'm so jealous. I boringly chose a graphic design studio. I recently ran into an old school friend who's brother had become the manager of the seal enclosure of Taronga Park zoo. So impressive!

  2. Your lucky! The Zoo would of been great! I did mine at the Mazda Motor Mechanics - I wanted to be a motor mechanic. The only thing I learnt was how to make great pranks.

    Happy Pantie folding!

    Angela xx

  3. That is a sensational work experience placement!

    & yes...little people.

  4. Now THAT sounds like the place to be for work experience! I love it.

    I did mine at WIN TV because I wanted to become a journalist (when I lived in the country) and it was kind of fun hanging out down the mall with the camera crew, except also being a tad shy, didn't like people following us around too much.

  5. Wow! Lucky you-that sounds like such a wonderful experience.

  6. Wow !

    Sure beats switch-bitch at the local health centre where I whiled my time ( highlight was being treated like an adult, sneaking a ciggie and joining the girls for iced coffees ... sad .. )


  7. Awesome!! So much more fun than a boring accounting office where I did my time...

  8. You must have been the envy of all your friends! I did mine at a Vet surgery, fainted on about day 2 watching them spay a german shepherd, spent the rest of the day in Emergency! So embarrassed!!

  9. That sounds like the BEST work experience. I looked after kids at a local kindergarten and it was a bit of a zoo too... but not in a good way!

  10. I've been a zoo volunteer for years now. It's such an amazing experience and one that definately transcends throughout your life.
    What a great story to share!

    Mine can be seen rightchere ;)

  11. Wow what a brilliant experience! That would have been amazing. Mine was in a vet clinic, which was cool... but not nearly as awesome as the zoo!

  12. That must have been so much fun....I wouldn't have wanted to go back to school after 2 weeks at the zoo!

  13. Wow! That's really cool! I got to do one lot of work experience at Seaworld where I played with the dolphins and false killer whales all day, and the second one on Stradbroke Island with a research scientist. I never did become the marine biologist I dreampt of in those days, but I had so much fun on work experience!


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