By Jaqueline B. Ramos*
My family and I took a trip to New Zealand for Christmas holidays this year and decided to stay a few days in Dunedin to get to know the “kiwi southern style”.
Our expectations were far exceed, we visited very interesting places and met very dedicated people. And a particular event will make the region to be in my thoughts forever.
I am an environmental journalist for more than two decades and am very involved in projects that aim to reflect about our relationship with non-human animals. Therefore, nature, conservation, respect, captivity, wildlife, biodiversity, sustainability, among other related subjects, were always present in the talks with our daughters.
Today Lana is 9 years old and Bianca, 5. Carefully and with good sense, we have been trying to show them the role of animals in their environments, our responsibilities towards them and their habitats.
We have shown them, for instance, individuals in zoos and aquariums and took trips, whenever we had the chance, to see the animals in the wild, in their truly nature and with all due respect. We bought books, went to museums, exhibitions and conservation projects, providing them with relevant information.
The idea was that they got to the conclusion, by themselves, of what is right and what is wrong, in order to be part of a new generation with new states of mind. A generation that will lead us to a more sustainable and respectful world.
Fortunately, Lana declared there was no reason to go to zoos and aquariums anymore two years ago, during a boat trip in Phuket, Thailand, watching dolphins swimming freely in the ocean. She understood conservation and wildlife.
And a few days ago, also in a boat trip, this time in Dunedin – precisely watching shags, fur seals and albatross at Otago peninsula – Bianca got to the same conclusion. From now on, she said holding her little binoculars, only animals in the wild. Could not be prouder and happier!
Apart all the amazing things we experienced in Dunedin, the city is always be part of our family history, for being the place that inspired our kids and made them realize the value of conservation and respectful efforts towards all kinds of living beings.
*Journalist and independent writer at Ambiente-se Comunicação – https://www.ambientesecom.net – and Communications Manager for GAP Project International – https://www.projetogap.org.br. Originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, currently living in Nagoya, Japan.