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I Choose My Career At 9 Years Old, And I Never Changed My Mind

Usually, little girls have lots of dreams, and they change their mind many times over their lives…but not me.

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I decided that I will work in the environment field a morning in 1984, when I was 9 and my mother told me about people that chained themselves to a tree to prevent them to be cut. In that moment, I realised that those where the kind of things that I wanted to do when growing up: working to study and protect nature will be my profession!

Because I was very young and playful at that time, I integrated my new discovery in all my games: I was all kinds of scientist: I played that I was a veterinarian, a chemist, an astronomer, and animal behaviourist…

The time passed, and at 16 I was a volunteer at the local zoo of Cordoba (Argentina) working with howler monkeys, snakes, anteaters, lamas and more! They were my friends that I saw and took care of them every weekend through my last year of high school.

Then I started to study biology, but because at the beginning it was mostly pure sciences such as math, chemistry and physics, I was a little disappointed. I did not do very well. But I keep trying, I helped to start an environmental NGO, I was a research assistant for many projects and I keep volunteering in many different organisations. I changed programs, and finally I graduated in Environmental Geography in a Canadian University.

After that, two years of trying to find a job in my area, but it was very difficult and frustrating. Finally, I was accepted as a guide in an environmental complex: a green building, a recycling center and an old landfill site. For 10 years I was a guide in a whale watching ship, a zoo, a botanical garden and an insectarium, and I travelled during holydays to 55 countries to see wildlife, take courses or volunteer. I realized many long term dreams such as seeing the mountain gorillas in Rwanda, the Galapagos turtles, and the national parks of East Africa.

In 2015, I started working as an environmental consultant for a Canadian international cooperation organisation. The first assignment was in Guatemala for helping to install a recycling system, and this year I am in Senegal, trying to implement an environmental management plan in a horticulturalist association.

I have invested all my energy, time and money in these projects and travels. It has been very difficult at times to find a job in my area, but I kept trying, I preferred to wait until I found a related job, even if my bank account was in the negative numbers!

My primary school friends remember that I use to bring turtles and other animals to school, and that I tried to found an NGO in my class! I am 42 now, I own nothing, but I am rich in experiences, friends and travel memories. I decided my profession at 9, and not even for a day I changed my mind.

From a little girl that dreamed to work with animals…

In a Bird Refuge, South Africa, 2011

In a Wild Life Refuge of South Africa, 2011

Zimbabwe, 2013

In a Reptile Refuge, South Africa, 2011

With an hybrid wolf in an Animal training course, Montreal, 2013

Guatemala, 2015

Senegal, 2017

Senegal, 2017

Vivarium of Ecuador, 2006

Biodome of Montreal

Senegal, 2017

Taj Mahal, India, 2014

Composting beads in Guatemala, 2015

The Giant Kites Festival of Guatemala, 2015

Volunteering in a Primate Refuge in South Africa, 2011

The Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda, 2012

The Masai People of Kenya, 2012

Thr Mohawk of Quebec

A baby Gibbon, victim of wildlife traffic in Thailand, 2009

The wallabies of Australia, 2010

The deserts of Argentina

Bali, 2010

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About Unknown

Le Minh Hieu is a national-level weightlifter and a Singapore Weightlifting sports performance coach. Hieu's biggest passion is helping everyone find confidence, happiness, and health through fitness.


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