Guest Post by Patricia Sund
Well, I’m not sure. What I am sure of is my commitment to the field of birds. I have a soft place in my heart for parrot rescues in general, but Phoenix Landing has always been by far, my favorite. I met Ann Brooks, in 2005 at the NEI Advanced Parrot Training program in Lake Whales, Florida We sat in the third to the last row on the right-hand side in the tent that served as a classroom.
I was in awe of Ann and all of these people in the class that had already established rescues, or they had their own bird related businesses. I had one bird, my African Grey, Parker and I wanted to learn to train him properly. That was my only reason for attending.
I had no idea that years later, I’d be writing about this business of birds: running around the country to experience life as a Zoo Keeper, a staff member at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, or simply reporting the goings-on at the Houston Parrot Festival.
I began my own blog (http://parrotnation.com/) and it has been happily chugging along for almost three years. The blog has caught on and a post I did about Phoenix Landing a while back still gets hits.
At the end of November, I received an email from Quark Expeditions about a blogging contest. The contest, Called “Blog Your Way to the North Pole” is a writing contest. The winner of the Contest is awarded a trip for two to the North Pole through Helsinki, Finland to Murmansk, Russia, and then on to board a nuclear-powered ice breaker expedition vessel to the North Pole which will take between four and eight days. So I entered the contest with the idea that if my entry won, it could raise awareness of Parrot rescues and nonprofit aviculture related foundations.
This trip is rough, long and cold. I live in Florida, so this will be an uncomfortable trip for me. It would not be a glamorous journey. It crosses 8 time zones so I am sure the jet lag would be brutal. It could possibly involve getting seasick. It’s on a nuclear powered vessel and I could come back glowing for all I know. I’ll have to take time off from work, get a Russian Visa, and the packing is probably going to be very complicated. But this doesn’t matter to me because I’d be doing it for something much bigger than me. It’s not about me, it’s about the birds, and as far as I know, I am the only entrant that has a shot who has an interest in birds.
To win, you have to get people to vote for you. A lot of people. If you get enough votes to be in the top five, a committee, including the president of Quark Expeditions and a professional travel blogger will judge the top five and the entry considered the best wins the trip.
There is only one vote per person. You can’t vote every day like you can with other contests. So, in order to win, I must get enough people give me their one vote.
So I am asking for your vote. I am asking that not only you vote, but that you ask your family, friends and anyone you know with an email address to vote for my entry.
How could this possibly help birds? It can and I think it will. Along with the publicity of the contest, the person going to the Pole on the trip has to write about it as they travel. Obviously, my personality, my interests and my passions would be coming out in the pieces as I write. The fact that I am a writer in the field of birds will obviously come up. Traffic to my blog would increase and I have so many links to wonderful websites that benefit birds including Phoenix Landing. I’m hoping this will enlighten other people about some of the foundations and non-profits that I love and respect.
If my entry wins, I want to make a feather scarf and wear it to the pole, return with it and auction it off, all proceeds going to Phoenix Landing. I have other ideas that could benefit Phoenix Landing, as well as the Alex Foundation and other bird related non-profits. But I have to win first. Here is the link to the Quark Expeditions Blogging contest:
The current title of my entry is “Santa’s Sleigh Needs a Flight Attendant.”
It only takes about a minute to vote.
I thank you so much for helping someone who loves birds go to the North Pole and I thank you for your vote.