This Friday MIS enjoyed a special talk by guest speaker Tina Silva from the San Diego Zoo in America.

Tina served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Iringa region for 2 years from 2005-2007. She lived and worked as an environment volunteer there and was visiting her village again this month which meant her travels brought her through Morogoro and to Morogoro International School.

Tina is currently a carnivore/hoofstock keeper at the San Diego Zoo (SDZ) working with lions, jaguars, tapirs, capybaras, and camelids. SDZ is one of the top zoos in the world and based in Balboa Park, San Diego, California, housing more than 3,500 animals of more than 650 species and subspecies.

Tina spoke about the animals she works with and gave examples of how she uses her knowledge of animal behaviour and clicker training techniques to get predators like ‘Ernest’ above to sit still during medical examinations. She also spoke about how she had to work very hard to get where she was now and that she actually started out selling souvenirs in a shop. While many people believe they treat boys and girls the same, the reality is often different.

Years of preconceptions about what’s possible for the different genders, and what’s appropriate, colour the experience of many school students. Tina touched on this when she advised “I knew I was really good with animals, and regardless of your gender you should follow that dream. As a girl I was worried about what people would think of me. But I learnt to be okay with being ambitious and wanting to achieve things.”

Tina is an inspiration and reminded all our students that if you want something and you are ready to work hard and persevere….anything is possible. She encouraged all the children at MIS to find out what kind of work would make them happy as there is no better job than one you love doing! Thank you Tina, for visiting us at MIS.