Last October, I spent two weeks volunteering in Kenya in the Masai Mara Lion and Wildlife Conservation project
What can I say about the project? It was amazing!!
The program allowed me to immerse myself in both environmental and cultural aspects of the area. I also had the chance to do some safaris in Africa. Being so close to nature and people, I realized how people have to live on a day to day basis, in a sometimes harsh environment.
The program had many different tasks. We could be out, looking for cheetahs for the cheetah project, whilst also checking on the lions and the elephants. Twice a day we would count the number of animals from each species in the surrounding grass and bush land.
We also had the chance to work with the locals where we gave lessons to the soon-to-be safari guides. We tried to pass some information on the cultural habits of our compatriots – the volunteers who were there at that time were English, Scottish, German and me (being Dutch) – and we gave them a lessons on customer relationships.
I was very touched when we gave a presentation on the food web and water cycle to pupils of the ground school. There must have been 60 of them, from 6 to 16 years old. Seeing them made me realize how fortunate kids in Europe and the Northern Americas are. Here, most kids have to walk to school for miles, some of them do not even have shoes and one never knows if you might encounter wild animals, as they roam freely outside the reserve!
I really would like to recommend this project to elderly people too. I myself was a young 57 at the time. People of this generation have so much knowledge and experience that they can share and would gain so much from the GoEco Masai Mara volunteer program.
So I make an appeal to the elderly: one is never too old to help in these kind of projects! When coming back I really felt as if something inside of me had been reborn, having had the opportunity to really accomplish something extraordinary!