Hilary Polis
Oregon, USA

Words can not describe what the last 6 months have meant to m. The experience of being able to move halfway across the world and meet people who immediately make you feel like you are part of their family is so unbelievably heartwarming.  From inviting me to spend the holidays with their family, to taking me to the best hiking and diving spots, to planning the most epic trips and get-aways, every single member of the VAC staff went above and beyond anything I could have ever imagined.

I miss coming home with stories from my internship at the Two Oceans Aquarium about escaping octopuses, overly-attached penguins, and my unique adventures while sailing through both the Indian and Atlantic current systems to release a sea turtle and while driving a 200-pound ragged-tooth shark to the Southern-most tip of Africa. I feel so blessed to have been surrounded by so many passionate, determined, and inspiring people in a city that makes us all truly come alive. My only hope is that I can take some of this indescribable energy home with me.