Friday, April 08, 2011

Where I'm at

*warning: this is a boring work-related post which I needed to write to process things*

Growing up I was always a bunny hugger. Chairperson of the Environmental Society in grade 7, vegetarian from grade 8, member of the SPCA society throughout high school, studied a BSc in conservation ecology. I recycle. Like I actually recycle, I don't just think it's a good idea. I'm a greeny. The dream job of a greeny is to work for the cause, to be part of the solution, to represent The Panda. I've always loved WWF. I dreamt of working there and when it happened I floated about the place for months in a happy bubble.

My job at WWF has sent me tracking wild dog, relocating rhino, travelling to India. I have met with celebs and have been treated like a celeb on all major radio stations and TV stations in the country. I am the last remaining member of the team who brought Earth Hour to SA and have made it happen for the last 3 years, we have garnered the support of presidents and politicians, musicians and sportsmen.

Last year WWF was involved in a court case whereby we sued a mining company and the Department of Mineral Resources for granting mining rights in a place which was environmentally pristine. The area in question provides water to most of Gauteng. It was ludicrous. We joined with a few other NGOs and took the bloody agents to court. We were pouring in millions but how do NGOs compete with endless finances? Then someone from the mining company made the mistake of commenting to the Mail&Gaurdian. Because he broke the "no media" agreement we were allowed to as well. I put together information and comments from our side. It was printed and within days the mining company had withdrawn their mining application and promised to never mine in that area. What millions could not achieve, the media could. I am immensely proud of my part in that.

In my time at WWF I have completed my Masters, had two children and bought a house. I have had 3 cars stolen (I know!) and have had several break ins. I have moved house twice. I have lost my gran, my Phoebe and Sophia. Two of my best friends in all the world are fellow employees.

My point is that while it makes all the sense in the world to no longer be a permanent employee of WWF, my nails are bitten short, I feel queasy and anxious and this is why: While I don't doubt my decision, WWF has been such a large part of who I am for so so long that it feels like in leaving, a little part of me is dying.