On Saturday night our three 'Dippies' (students of the Diploma course in Conservation*) held a Venezuelan evening in the Graduate Bar of University of East Anglia to raise funds for their three-week research visit to Margarita Island. Most of the World Land Trust team came along and we were greeted with refreshing Margaritas, with music from Venezuela playing in the background.
The students had prepared a superb spread of Venezuelan foods, and showed a film about Caribbean wildlife, as well as films about parrots -- their research project is to study the vulnerable Yellow-shouldered Parrot.
And then they held an auction, with lots of goodies donated by local businesses, with WLT staff and other guests engaging in a minor 'bidding war' to get their hands on cinema tickets, day spa experiences, chocolate boxes and other treats.
Not only was it an enjoyable and successful evening, with our students raising funds for their project, but they also gained valuable insights into fundraising and event organisation -- all good experiences for budding conservationists.
* The Diploma in Conservation and Project Administration is a collaboration between World Land Trust and University of East Anglia designed to equip the 'conservationists of tomorrow' with the skills they need.