Hopper is Caloosa Belle’s new reporter

A Self Introduction
As the newest addition to the Caloosa Belle, I wanted to introduce myself. I was born on MacDill Air Force Base, in Tampa, as the daughter of a Thai-American couple. As an “Air Force brat”, I traveled extensively with my family. From childhood, well into my adult years, you could find me anywhere from catching some waves on the sandy beaches of Hawaii, mushing dog teams through ice and snow in Alaska, studying rattlesnakes in the Oklahoma red dirt, to rehabilitating Bald eagles and other wildlife, here in my beloved home state, Florida.

I have always possessed a passion for storytelling, and as my own modus operandi, what better way is there to do that, than to try my hand at anything that comes across my path? Thus, I have worked as a tattoo artist, marine biology research assistant, veterinary technician, dental hygienist, alligator wrestler, firefighter, CrossFit coach, zookeeper, and even as an assistant to The Pet Psychic, on Animal Planet. While it’s been an unusually varied and adventurous lifestyle, these experiences have provided me with a deep breadth of both understanding and appreciation for many ways of life and culture.

Nowadays, I am the proud wife of an Army veteran, who was deployed in Afghanistan, as well as the mother of an opinionated toddler. I’ve settled into a tiny goat farm and art studio, right here in LaBelle. When I’m not writing, I spend my time milking my goats and making cheese, painting wildly colored, abstract landscapes, and also serving as a Board Member at the local Barron Park House Gallery.

I have grown to love LaBelle, and I am so excited and humbled to have been given this opportunity to report on community events, as well as cast a spotlight on the lives and stories of some of our country’s most important heroes, our local veterans.

Danika can be reached at dhopper@newszap.com

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