Volunteer in the Middle East
Working at the wildlife center has the perfect balance of being active and relaxing, and even many of the volunteer tasks have a very noticeable rhythm and method. It was so easy for me to adapt for this reason, and my volunteer hours gave me so much time to reflect on my experiences while simultaneously helping a small ecosystem.
Working at the Coral Reef Conservation project was one of the most amazing experiences I have had. The people who work there are friendly and accommodating. There is lots of joking, laughing and I was made to feel like part of the family. Work tasks varied on a daily basis. My favorite thing to do was explore the reef. It is really beautiful and it felt good knowing that I was helping to conserve the reef.
My main task every day was to walk the dogs, a very satisfying thing to do. It’s great to see the happiness in their eyes and to watch them play with each other in the backyard. When I was not volunteering in the Animal Shelter, I enjoyed the city of Tel Aviv. The beach is beautiful! And I had a lot of fun with my new friends that I made at the hostel. Tel Aviv is a great city to shop and walk. There are markets, dog parks and the beautiful HaYarkon Park.
There is a very special thing about this population, you can form relationships without much conversation. Even though I speak basic Hebrew, it wasn’t enough to converse; however, I was able to make quick connections with the participants by engaging in the activities that they enjoyed i.e. jewelry making and card games.
The typical day at work started at 8am with feeding the animals (horses, alpacas, llamas, goats, camels), which was my favorite part of the day. It took about an hour after which I had some free time. At 11 am we started cleaning the guest houses, which took a few hours before some more free time until 5 pm when we fed the animals once more.
I loved working in the garden, Shlomo was a great teacher. It was lovely being able to spend a few hours under the sun, working with such beautiful flowers; especially since I come from a big city! The plants grown in the greenhouse are also grown by the students, and they later sell them to raise money for the school. I also got to work with the animals, which was my favorite part. The school has chickens, geese, ducks, rabbits, birds, chinchillas, and more that I’m sure I’ve forgotten. I loved my baby goats the most!.
When I looked into the details of the project, the description explained that I would be working in a therapeutic garden. I wasn't too sure what this meant... but it sounded like a unique challenge that I could immerse myself in. I soon found out that this garden was less about the flowers and plants, and more about the people. I was fortunate enough to have kindhearted and soft-spoken managers that taught me how to work with the nature and children simultaneously.
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