Volunteer in Israel
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.
My favorite part of the day was on the way to the Old City when we passed a group of palm trees. Our guide made us stop and told us to look at all the trees. He asked if they were all the same and then explained how each palm tree was a tree that grew slightly differently. For me this was the perfect image of Israel, a place where everyone is growing separately yet still a unit growing and developing together. It made me realize that life is not about them or us, but about everyone just in different places.
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!.
Along with two workers and four other volunteers, we worked hard to build an eco-cabin constructed from a mixture of earth, sand, and hay. We enjoyed regular trips to the pool during our breaks and ate family-style meals three times daily. Here, I fully embraced Israeli culture and learned more about the Hebrew language as well as how to prepare traditional Israeli food.
That afternoon, we started our work. Girls were assigned to work with mud while my job was sifting sands for the preparation of the mud. Then I “made the mud” by mixing buckets of earth and sifted sands and straws. Honestly, it was so tiring, especially under the sun, but this was something I had never done before, which made it really fun.
It was an excellent location to learn about the +/- 1100 species present in the Red Sea. Together with Leras, a marine biologist, I received her help in analyzing the photographic material (pictures) from my UW camera. Initially I was only interested in fish species, though after a while I started to do some coral identification as well. In the Red Sea this is pretty much amazing!
Working at the Coral Reef Nature Reserve 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.
When the time came to say goodbye, I realized that 2 weeks were definitely not enough to explore everything that this place has to offer. I loved every minute of it – the warmness of the sun, the peacefulness of the desert and of the animals, the kindness of the people I have met, the wonderful mix of sights, tastes and sounds and all kinds of experiences that were sometimes challenging and sometimes comforting. I would like to thank Go Eco, my fellow volunteers and everyone at the reserve for making this a one in a lifetime experience for me.
The project was located in the Golan Heights in a small village called Nimrod. I was honestly not sure what to expect and I was slightly nervous to be volunteering in Israel for three weeks by myself. I was picked up from the bus stop from one of the project managers. He was very cheeky and had a great sense of humor. He showed me to my cabin which was equipped with cooking facilities, a fridge, bathroom, and beds.
I am so pleased to have had my internship in Israel. The course was a discovery for me architecturally, culturally and linguistically... Moreover, the will and the work performed by Guy is unbelievable. This is a man who knows a lot. On his own, he manages the maintenance and construction of the whole eco- lodge. It is because of Guys wealth of knowledge that I was able to learn about insulation, carpentry, plumbing and electricity.