Volunteer in Asia
I couldn’t wait to witness the lucky little fella be released at the end of the week. It was so exciting, knowing that one of the turtles that had been in our care was soon going to start his life in the "big blue." I couldn’t hide my anticipation, regardless of the fact that we release a turtle (or two), every week.
Our time at turtle camp was capped off by releasing two of ‘our’ turtles into the sea to begin their journey as independent turtles! Hopefully, the love and care provided at the turtle project will ensure these turtles have a greater chance of survival in the big, wide, scary ocean. Go well, little turtle!
Our organized activities were a great way to relax and have fun with everyone in the program but my favorite memories were at the school, playing with the kids at the end of each day, or handing out ice cream after lunch...I cannot wait to not only return for more volunteering in Thailand, but to explore other opportunities provided by GoEco.
Working in Thailand was one of the best experiences of my life. The children were so incredibly sweet and eager to learn. The younger children barely knew any English so we had to find ways to communicate with them through pictures and hand motions. After this experience, I really think anyone can learn to be a teacher!
My second day on the island is when I got to meet and start working with the turtles – which was great! Our main tasks were emptying and refilling the tanks and feeding and numbering the turtles, but once we also had to measure and weigh all of the turtles too. Once a week we also had to scrub all of the tanks to keep them clean which takes a whole day!
Feeding the pandas was an unforgettable experience. The pandas would rush to the entrance of the cage and lumber up to the front. My favorite panda, Susan, would hold a bar for support as she ate. They were so receptive and excited to get their special panda bread and carrots, relishing every bite.
After becoming acquainted with our panda keeper and pandas, we started our first job. It was necessary to clean the cage, removing the bamboo leaves and other garbage. After that, we started to clean their enclosures... In addition, we fed the pandas twice a day with carrot and special bread (named ”panda cake”), and sometimes apples.
My favourite part was definitely interacting with the amazing, young monks. The children were incredibly sweet and funny and they always put a smile on my face. At the same time, though, they were dedicated and focused during our lessons. Our classes were the perfect combination of smiles, laughter and learning.
Most people in Sri Lanka were extremely friendly, and it was ok to use the combination of English and body language to communicate with them. I chose the orientation week as my first week program, and during this period, I visited many interesting places in Kandy, which included the temple of tooth. Kandy is the center of Buddhism; it was an impressive experience to learn the history and culture of this city.
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.
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