Free of Bull, Full of Bulldogs


Free of Bull, Full of Bulldogs


Free of Bull, Full of Bulldogs


Staff Profile
Keeley Scalise
Keeley Scalise
Project Editor

Monti ventures to New Zealand and Australia

Photo courtesy of David Monti.

From December 21 to January 4, David Monti, a Riverside Brookfield High School science teacher, Chess Club coach, and Ecology Club sponsor, went on an excursion to New Zealand and Australia. His trip lasted two weeks, and he visited Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Tasmania.

During his trip, Monti and his wife visited his daughter in Wellington, New Zealand. Staying with their daughter was the highlight of the trip.

“We flew from Chicago to L.A., L.A. to Auckland, New Zealand, and then another flight… to the bottom of the south island, Wellington, which is where my daughter is working. We spent Christmas with the family she’s working for,” Monti said. “My favorite part was seeing my daughter. I haven’t seen her since July. She’s taking a year off before grad school, and she’s working as an au pair for a New Zealand diplomat, and their family was absolutely lovely. The husband and the wife were really fantastic, and the three boys were pretty crazy… it made us feel really good that she’s working for some wonderful people.”

Besides visiting his daughter, another highlight of his trip was having the opportunity to see and interact with many animals. He saw animals like Hector’s dolphins, Tasmanian devils, quolls, wombats, and more.

“Outside of [seeing my daughter], we did so many cool things. We swam with Hector’s dolphins, which is the smallest dolphin species in the world, found in New Zealand. That was about three hours south of Christchurch. Tasmania was amazing. We went to all these different wildlife sanctuaries. We saw all of these wombats and Tasmanian devils and quolls. The last day before we flew to Melbourne, we got to play with a baby wombat for a half hour, and it was just the coolest thing ever,” Monti said.

Monti also saw animals in the wild. He says that the coolest things he saw were tuataras in the wild, the baby wombats, and the baby Tasmanian devils.

“We saw tuataras in the wild the first night we were there. They’re the closest living thing to a dinosaur. The baby wombat and the baby Tasmanian devils were just amazing. We didn’t get to hold the baby Tasmanian devil because they bite, but we got to play with and hold the wombat, so that was probably the top thing,” Monti said.

Monti expresses the importance of ecotourism. Ecotourism can be defined as tourism directed towards exotic, often threatened, natural environments intended to support conservation efforts and observe wildlife.

“It just builds awareness and hopefully builds compassion about what the plight of the world is,” Monti said. “I’ve always believed in being cosmopolitan; you want to see the world, it’s so unique. There’s so many great things in America. I’ve been to 47 states in America, which is pretty awesome. But to travel the world and see everything else that we don’t have, I think that’s really special.”

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About the Contributor
Claudia Tello
Claudia Tello, Media Editor
Claudia Tello (She/Her) is a senior at Riverside Brookfield and is a Media Editor. Outside of Clarion, she does gymnastics. She enjoys gaming, cooking, and the hit rock emo bands My Chemical Romance, Pierce the Veil and Sleeping with Sirens (especially Kellin Quinn). Any questions? Contact her at [email protected]

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