I've never been to Africa, but...

A zebra in Rhino Rally
This is a zebra, or the "horse that escaped from jail", according to my tour guide. In Rhino Rally, guests get to ride in a jeep and see animals up-close. -Photo by me

I work at Busch Gardens, an African-themed theme park in Tampa, Fla. (There's also a Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va. with a European theme).

Representatives from Busch Gardens came to my high school to hire students- but I wasn't old enough. Desperate for a job, I applied right after my 16th birthday. I was hired in May 2007, and it has been one of the best times of my life.

This year will be my fourth year working at Busch Gardens. Even though it's in my hometown, I'd say it's the best traveling experience I've ever had. While working there, I've been exposed to so many people and things from around the world.

I've had the opportunity to meet and work with people from other countries such as Thailand, Russia, Ghana and the Phillipines. Some of my friends from Thailand taught me how to say "hello" in Thai: "sa-wa-dee".

Busch Gardens has made me more aware of the world. I really enjoy being in an environment where I can work to earn money, have fun and learn at the same time.