CROCODILES and tribespeople will greet a student from Warwick when she jets off to South Africa.
Ruth Miller could hardly contain her excitement when Volunteer Eco Students Abroad (VESA) were recruiting at the University of South Wales where she studies photography.
An animal lover with itchy feet, Ruth could think of no better way to round off her final year at university than spending two weeks teaching English to children, building farming units and helping at a crocodile centre in South Africa.
The 21 year-old’s first week will be spent living with a tribal community in KwaZulu-Natal on the county’s eastern coast while teaching and working with tribe members.
And her second will involve getting hands on with crocodiles at a sanctuary where she will help capture ill and injured reptiles, release others back into the wild and keep count of eggs in nests.
The trip will cost £1,500 and Ruth is busy fund-raising including working part time with the hospitality team at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. She has already completed a sponsored abseil down the Northampton Lift Tower to kick start her fund raising.
Ruth told the Observer: “As soon as the thought of traveling and even volunteering caught my interest, South Africa was the destination I wanted to visit. I’ve never been out of Europe before.
“I’m really looking forward to spending a week living with the tribe because we will be completely immersed in their culture – their English is quite good and our guides can speak the native tongue but their way of life is so different to ours. There will be a traditional braai, which is like a barbeque, for us .
“I think the highlight for me will be working at the crocodile sanctuary because I love animals and it will be gratifying to help a creature which isn’t cute and cuddly.”
The ex-Myton pupil hopes to become a wildlife or travel photographer after graduating and hopes the trip in August will be the perfect way to kick start her career.
Visit www.volunteerforever.com/volunteer_profile/ruth-miller to sponsor Ruth.