Turtle conservation center Bali
The turtle conservation and education project in Bali was a great opportunity for Lea to combine her interests in wildlife, social work and travelling.
My experiences in the turtle conservation center in Bali
When I started my big trip it was the first time for me traveling alone and even more to the other side of the world. In March I did my A-level and so it was clear for me that it is the best time to stay some months abroad to collect new experiences in a different culture. The project in the turtle conservation center was a perfect possibility to combine my interests in animals, social work and also into travelling. I applied for the volunteering program at Studentsgoabroad and they placed me very quickly in the project. I got all the necessary information from the partner organisation on Bali and there was nothing to stop it from being put into practice.
After a 19-hours flight and some new impressions like the turbulent traffic on the streets or the unusual heavy, hot air, a nice driver called Ketut already waited for me at the airport. He brought me to the volunteer house in Sanur, where I stayed for three months. Sanur is in the south of Bali and a wonderful small village. When I arrived there, the other volunteers welcomed me very warmly and so the first impression was great.
The volunteer house was just great – it looks like a typical house on Bali with four rooms, a comfortable kitchen, a garden with a small temple and a terrace which had later turned out as our favourite "meeting place" in the house, just talking together and exchanging our experiences.
What I liked the most about the volunteer house was the location. It was situated in an authentic district and we met so many hearty and polite locals, far away from tourism. It was a great chance to experience the new culture.
The first days on the island were very exciting. I learnt to drive a scooter and it is really adviseable on Bali, because EVERYBODY moves in this way. At the beginning I had some fears because I never drove a scooter before and now I should learn it on these turbulent streets of Bali. But I needn't have worried because the traffic looks worse than it is. You notice quickly that the people on the streets handle considerately with each other and everybody pays attention. The scooter driving became one of my favorite hobbies on Bali because you can reach really every place on this island and at the same time you can enjoy the wonderful nature.
So I came along every morning to the turtle project which was about 15 minutes away from the volunteer house. It was alsway a pleasure for me to go there. The employees with their good mood and happiness were definitely a reason for it. I really enjoyed spending the time with them, laughing with them and talking about their culture and life. Everybodey handled so warmly with each other. My main activity was to welcome the tourists and to guide them through our small turtle centre. I told them something about the animals, their way of life and their illnesses. I also liked it to help the embryo to 'hatch' out of its shell and as soon as they were old enough to release them in the freedom of the sea.
Looking back it was really a great experience to be a part of the turtle project and to support the project even with a little work.
After work either I went with my friends to the beach or we did some excursions, as for example we visited some nice temples and waterfalls. We even learnt surfing what you really should not miss on Bali! In the evening we often enjoyed the world-best "Nasi Goreng" that you can buy for less than one euro at the night market.
There is no day I am not thinking about these unforgetable three months and am grateful for every single day. I have learnt so much and I met so many nice people. I can recommend this project or any other on Bali to everybody, particularly if it should be the first trip without family or friends. Bali really turned out as uncomplicated and safe. The Hindu culture pays attention about good deeds and they really care about to welcome everybody with open arms.
So what are you waiting for: BALI IS CALLING!