Volunteering in Sri Lanka – Saving Turtles

Posted by: Matthew

For my summer I decided to do something a bit different then all my friends so I decided to try volunteering in Sri Lanka at the Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation project. I was looking for adventure and and something that would push me out of my comfort zone. It seems like a strange choice for a 24 year old who works full time to do this, but I knew the second I arrived it was the best decision for me.

I spent my first week in Kandy. I got to live like a Sri Lankan, eating their food, exploring their streets, visiting their temples and immersing myself in their day-to-day life. I settled in very quickly with the help of everyone. I had everything I needed and the house I stayed in was full with a buzzing atmosphere.

I lived with people from all over the world, comparing stories and experiences and learning something from everyone. During the days I would go into Kandy to explore with coordinators or by myself depending on what I felt like. We were free to do as we wished most of the time. Then in the late afternoons and evenings I would meet up with everyone else in the house and go to the markets, get dinner or go out for drinks. We could do as we pleased.

The second week I moved down south to a new house and to work with the turtles. This was an amazing experience, it was very hands-on and I got to spend as much time with the turtles as I wanted. We cleaned them, fed them and generally worked with them on the beach trying to get them back to full health. They are such amazing animals and the work they do at at this project is fantastic. All the volunteers really care for each individual turtle and no one is afraid about getting dirty and being involved.

I loved my trip, met some amazing people and got to experiences completely new things in my life I’m so happy I decided to do it.