Researching and observing birds has been important to me ever since I can remember. I was seven years old when I started “Faith Sees Birds” and dreaming of being an ornithologist, or at least having a job which would allow me to continue studying various species of birds and writing about it. As I got older, I found myself having less and less time for my first love of bird-watching and writing posts, as activities like practicing the piano (which I have been playing for 10 years) painting/sketching, and of course schoolwork have become a pressing priority. As I will soon enter high school, I know the work and the pressure will only increase.
But now something wonderful has happened.
I have an opportunity to fly to Helsinki, Finland! It would be just me and my mother, Deanna Piowaty, editor-in-chief and founder of Combustus, an arts and literary magazine. If we can raise sufficient funds, this would be the first time I have ever left the country or been on a plane. Actually, it would be the first time I have ever been further away than 200 miles from my home.
This trip would mean so much to both of us, including a chance for me to paint the beautiful sites and landscapes of Finland. It would also mean I might have the opportunity to study and observe the unique birds of Finland: Tundra Swans, Common (Also known as Eurasian) Swans, as well as species of skuas like the Pomarine Jaeger ~ birds I have never dreamed of seeing in “person” before.
I had been hoping to eventually add more content to the page, “Birds Outside of Oregon” on my website. It would be especially meaningful to me if the posts featured wild birds I had actually seen and taken notes on in person.
Traveling to new foreign countries, where I could birdwatch and learn about wild animals has been a dream of mine since I started reading Wild Life Weeks, a nature and travel blog. The challenge, however, is that the trip is more than my mother, who is a single mother of three teenagers, can afford. I suggested to her that we create a Go Fund Me page, and my mother, who is generally as private as I am, took my suggestion! Below I have attached a link to the page. Any contribution is greatly appreciated from both my mom and me. Thanks in advance!