Posted by: galapagosinc | May 24, 2010

Living the dream with a Galapagos project

Carrie Pokrefke is living her dream, taking part in a 10-day National Geographic photography expedition on the Galapagos Islands.

“This is the realization of my ultimate dream in life,” said Pokrefke. “They say it’s like summer camp for adults. It’s nonstop.”

For years, Pokrefke, 31, has wanted to photograph the wildlife and various plant species indigenous to the island, officially named Galapagos Archipelago. A few months ago, she put her name on a waiting list to travel with National Geographic knowing her being able to go was a long shot. By chance, a spot opened for her when someone canceled his or her reservation for the trip to the chain of islands in the Pacific.

“I have wanted to go since high school,” Pokrefke said.

A representative from the magazine called on April 27 telling her the news. She said her being selected was “a total fluke.”

The St. Aloysius High School graduate left Vicksburg for Ecuador this past week for Galapagos, famed for its endemic animal and plant life including the tortoise and cacti.

The volcanic island chain of lush vegetation and picturesque scenery lies in the Pacific Ocean about 525 miles off the western coast of Ecuador, sitting in the Northern and Southern hemispheres.

Discovered in 1535 by Fray Thomas de Berlanga, the bishop of Panama, the group of 18 islands, 107 rocks and islets is 3,040 square miles of land spread over 17,000 square miles of ocean.

As a lover of photography, Pokrefke, joined the magazine’s biannual photo expedition to capture images of what she had seen on television and the Internet since she was a teen.

“I do photography on the side. That’s the reason I’m going,” said Pokrefke, a credit union examiner for the state of Mississippi.

“It’s a very photography-based expedition. I’ve always watched the website. National Geographic has been going to the Galapagos for 40 years. They actually give back to Galapagos.”

Clarion Ledger

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