Volunteering in South Africa – Surmounting Expectations

Posted by: Alessandro

When I was being driven to my project, the Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa, I remember being a little bit nervous: would there be people of my age, would I like the place, the animals, the activities and everything else? I really didn’t know what to expect, but right after I arrived, my doubts and my fears vanished when I was welcomed by every single person, each of them introducing themselves and trying to make me fit in the group. They soon took me for a tour of the farm and the animals and I soon understand I was not going to forget my three weeks easily.

Everything surmounted my expectations. There was always something new to do, starting from simply chopping wood for the fire to building a pool for the elephants (which was really fun!)

Also the people were always different: it was hard to say goodbye to who was leaving but on the other hand others were coming. You could never get bored in that place! We worked really hard during the day, but we also had plenty of time to have fun during the weekend excursions or during the evenings, especially on Wednesday when we had the “braai” ( how South Africans call barbecues).

The Wildlife Sanctuary project was a great experience. I still haven’t gotten over it now, one month after I came back home. In fact the only bad thing about that place was leaving.