Volunteering in Israel – An Amazing Trip

Posted by: Kayla

I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Volunteering in Israel at the Desert Wildlife Program was amazing. The rangers were wonderful along with the other volunteers I was with. I did not have one bad experience with this program.

I came to Israel and to this program with an open mind like suggested to me and was in a mindset of expecting anything. This was my first trip abroad out of U.S. boarders and I will admit that I was a little nervous at first. All of the people, my coordinator and the rangers on the reserve were so very helpful throughout my 4 week stay. With all of this being said it eased my mind and I was no longer nervous, in fact, by the end of my stay I became so close to the people I worked with on a day to day basis and it was heartbreaking having to leave. The first day in Israel of orientation began the true adventure of a lifetime.

Our coordinator, Yan showed me around the Old City in Jerusalem and it was absolutely amazing. He knew so many facts and a person can truly tell that he loves what he does which makes the experience that much more wonderful. I didn’t expect to be helped getting to the project area, however, Yan came with us and described to the other volunteer and I what to expect for the next 4 weeks. He was very informative about everything which of course really helps me to have an idea more of what to expect upon our arrival. Our first day we didn’t begin working, we settled into our rooms in the apartment. The next day we awoke and took the bus to Eilat to enjoy our day at the Red Sea. It was such a relaxing time right before the real work began. The next day it was time to begin volunteering.

The program was such a learning experience. Each day was different with different tasks to complete. The rangers were very patient and taught how to do each task well that was given. They made sure that I was comfortable with what I was doing and if not then they made it an option to do something different. Practically the only thing that was the same was feeding the animals each morning and cleaning enclosures of either the desert night life or the predators. After that was completed, each person would start on other tasks that were given to them. In my free time in the evenings I would write what I did each day in my blog that I was keeping of my trip.

On the weekends I would make trips to Eilat and I also did a tour in Cairo, Egypt. The bus was easily accessible which in return made it easier to travel to places instead of sitting at the volunteer apartment for the weekend. The rangers were also available to ask to give a ride to either bus stop that was nearby.

I will definitely try to do this same program in the future and hope to go back to Israel one day. I hope many others decide to do this program and have the same wonderful experience that I had. I can most definitely say that this was an experience that I will never forget.