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Xilona

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A gentle, warm-hearted, patient person with a passion for wildlife, art and meaningful travelling!

Before my first travels around the world for a year, I spent the first and best 6 years of my life in Bolivia: my childhood consisted of drawing, playing in the dirt, swamps, sand-dunes, rivers and streets, while habitually interacting with the domestic and wild life on our forested doorstep. My name, appropriately translated as 'from the forest', seems to be my calling as I am drawn to this ecosystem and its indigenous inhabitants with a deep passion that grows at every moment, it is in my roots.

I dislike being bored so I tend to fill my days with everything and anything that attracts me, which means I end up not having any time to do nothing -€œ though I'm undecided as to whether that is a negative outcome! When I am not limited to the UK, I spend a lot of my time abroad, in tropical regions where possible and delving into worthwhile projects in conservation, environment or rural development initiatives to widen my knowledge and experience but also to not just be another passing visitor but one which may enrich the lives of locals and the environment.

I am a 2014 graduate of BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation in the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology at the University of Kent. I chose to study this course as a follow-on to my interests therefore the myriad activities in my life reflects widespread relevant experience to everything I care about. During my 3 years here I spent most of my time (apart from studying!) taking part in many activities which include: widespread involvement in conservation volunteering, being active in rugby, martial arts (MMA and Capoeira), basketball, archery, gymnastics, circus fun, belly dance and salsa, (with teaching and performances)! I also cycle everywhere to enjoy my surroundings and as an efficient mode of transport. At the same time I have also held down various part-time jobs (sometimes 4 at a time) which include biodiversity surveying, student ambassador, cafe and catering work, face painting, portrait commissions, and logo design. I am currently assisting with crop-field research. When I'm not running around I enjoy being out in nature, drawing portraits and wildlife, playing music (flute, djembe, guitar, didgeridoo and percussion)as well as being creative with string, jewelery and designing my own clothes.

Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you want me to elaborate on any aspect.

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