by JULIE SPENCE
College student, Emma Lui, has just returned from a once in a
Emma, who has just started Upper Sixth at the
Belfast school,said the five week trip with the British Schools
Exploring Society, was "the best thing I have ever done."
After successfully passing a gruelling
interview process, Emma became the only student from Ireland on
the 32-student team that travelled to the Peruvian Rain Forest.
there, Emma spent time helping to record valuable data on the
Amazonian eco-system. She also helped to record details about
the Black Caimans, an endangered alligator-like reptile, and
save turtle eggs.
"We were in the middle of the National
Reserve, which was really lucky as you need special permits from
the government," explained Emma.
"Whilst there we did conservation work with
students from the University of Amazonian Studies and helped to
rescue turtle eggs from predators."
When Emma found out she had been accepted onto the
expedition, she began raising the money she would need. She was
sponsored by Raw Outdoors in Hillsborough, who gave her �500 of
equipment and a discount on anything else she needed. Friends
and family were also very generous. "Myself and some friends ran
the Belfast Marathon," explained Emma. 'A male friend waxed his
legs and customers at my mother's shop, Maxims, were also
generous. I would like to thank everyone for their support."
Emma has had a busy summer. Before jetting
off to Peru, the Lisburn girl spent two weeks in Washington DC,
representing Victoria College and visiting the legal
institutions in the American capital.
And, having managed to fit all that in, she still attained
four A's in her recent AS Level examinations. Clearly, not one
to sit still for long, Emma plans to go on to university to
study law, and will be touring the west coast of America next
summer with the Belfast School of Music.
Emma with a Baby Caiman.