Life In The Desert

Posted by: Jolin S.

Thanks to Go Eco, I was lucky enough to explore Israel and work with all kinds of animals at the same time. I arrived in Israel 5 days before my volunteer placement at the Desert Wildlife Program started and explored the country! At first, I was super nervous about travelling on my own and how to get around in Israel, but once I got to Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem I realized that both cities were extremely safe and everyone spoke English so I had no problems getting around! Also, I found getting around in Israel easy because there was public transportation everywhere. The Abraham Hostel (where we stayed for a night) was lovely, it is a great hostel! The orientation on the first day was a lot of fun, and we got to explore the Old City, Mahane Yehuda Market and try authentic falafel and hummus with the group. When it came time to go to the Hai Bar (where I volunteered for 2 weeks), the volunteer coordinator, Yan, made sure we would get settled in okay by coming with us. He was extremely helpful and was there for us over the phone the entire time, whenever we needed help.

Once the placement started at the Hai Bar, we were taken to get groceries once a week by the Park Rangers. The house we stayed in on the reserve was very homey and had everything we needed. I got to feed the animals in the mornings and clean their cages. Sometimes at night the rangers would take us to do night feeding for the nocturnal animals, which was cool to experience. We worked from 6 am to 2 pm and were given lots of break throughout the day because of the desert heat. A typical work morning starts with feeding the animal and cleaning their cages, then we would take a long break for lunch. After lunch, we would prepare the meat for the predators and do other tasks that involved maintenance.

On the weekend, we went down to Eilat to snorkel at the coral reef conservation! It was free for me and other volunteers to enter because we were volunteers of the Hai Bar, which was a really nice surprise. One of the weekends, I went to Petra for 3 days and the manager of the Hai Bar helped me get the border to meet the tour! Overall, I learned a lot on this trip, including being around exotic animals, the culture and travelling on my own. It was a wonderful experience and I could not have asked for more! I trust the Go Eco company and would for sure go on more volunteer trips in the future! If I had more time to stay in Israel, I definitely would have