Volunteer Opportunities Abroad by GoEco
What we did for those two weeks was not so easy but it was truly meaningful. What I liked most about volunteering was getting to work in a unique environment that you wouldn’t have the chance to experience unless you were a volunteer. Most of the places we worked were deep in the mountains; so beautiful. Everyday we worked about five hours and the leaders would show us some beautiful and amazing places to visit on our time off.
Actually I didn’t know what to expect when deciding to volunteer in Australia at this conservation project, but at the end I can say that it was a great opportunity to grow up, to help the environment of Australia, to discover new cultures from all around the world. I will never forget this experience and the people that I met.
I enjoyed ranger days the most. On these days you were paired with a ranger and got to do everything they did. This included feeding, cleaning, and in some cases even treating the animals. There were so many animals at the park that it was so much to see every day. My favorite part was getting to know each animal and their story. Every animal at the park has a name and is looked after carefully. It was great because you weren’t just standing behind a fence looking at the animal you were in the enclosure handling and helping.
The first three days of the program took place in Sydney, as our coordinator showed the volunteers around Sydney and filled us in on the history and customs in Australia. Along our tour we visited the Sydney Opera House, Botanical Gardens, a couple different museums and took a ferry ride to Darling Harbour.
All of the staff on the boat was very friendly and helpful. You could tell this is something they all really enjoy and love to share with others. They made sure to let us know where the coolest things to see were and if there were any special things in our dive sites. There was one fish that was a regular visitor. His name is Wally and we saw him most days out on the reef. He swims right up to divers and it is definitely an experience to see how much he likes to hang out with people.
...the hospital staff, despite their limited English, were helpful and just as excited to learn from us as we were from them! We taught them how to use their EEG machine and defibrillator. It seems almost unthinkable that these machines could be possessed and yet not used due to lack of knowledge. This was extremely rewarding for us to be a part of.
I was able to offer my Western training to aid the dedicated nurses and doctors in treating these individuals. I was able to discuss what the best treatment options were with each medical doctor for the countless patients that came in including, hypoglycemic (malnutrition), gastritis, malaria, typhoid, TB, and emergency patients.
Friday’s are a bit different because that’s test day, the children LOVE this though, as they get to see what they’ve learnt through the week and after an hour or so of tests are free to play. One Friday it was so hot we all ran through a fence at the back of the school and jumped in to a huge pond to cool off. All the kids who could swim were jumping in with us and the ones who couldn’t we were hugging and splashing.
I managed to FaceTime my cousin when I gained access to WiFi again and she asked me, 'So what did you learn from all this?' I simply responded with, 'If you don’t cut the weeds you cannot see the beautiful temple.' That statement meant to me that only when you get rid of all the impure, damaging things around you, can you reveal the beautiful temple within.
The weather was warm and sunny and we saw dolphins on our very first outing on the boat! It was so much fun seeing them in their natural habitat. The next day, we observed the data we collected by examining the pictures of the dolphins and matching them to the existing dolphins in the catalog.
Every other day, the entire team went out with the boat to observe and collect data of the dolphins near the coast. While documenting them, they put on a very entertaining show for us! The morning the day after, we all analyzed the data collected. Everyone worked together and helped each other out. During the project, I started to understand how serious this situation is for the dolphins. We could understand the dolphins on another level than before.