"I Was Totally Intent On Living My Dream....Working With Orangutans" - See Why Sharon's Going Back To Samboja For A 3rd Time!

"I Was Totally Intent On Living My Dream....Working With Orangutans" - See Why Sharon's Going Back To Samboja For A 3rd Time!

Posted by Connor Whelan on Nov 12, 2017

Having travelled to Samboja in 2016 and 2017 and already planning to head back in 2018, Sharon is one of our most frequent volunteers so we wanted to see what keeps bringing her back to Borneo! Let’s see what Sharon has to say!

As a 61 year old career woman, I was totally intent on ‘living my dream’ - working with orangutans… and after weeks of research and comparisons between orangutan sanctuaries in Borneo, it didn’t take me long to get ‘the right feel’ from the package that The Great Projects was offering. So in October 2016 I booked a volunteering trip to Samboja Lestari Orangutan Sanctuary in Borneo and it was the best decision I ever made. Besides giving me balance back in my life, it was life changing. I was ‘hooked’ after my first visit. I had the most eye-opening and emotionally charged experience I could ever imagine and the day I got back home… I booked again for May 2017.

Volunteer working hard at orangutan sanctuary

There are no words to describe being surrounded by a vision that I had imagined for at least 40 years. I had waited way to long, but I had done it... …and now I was going back! Life is way too short to just dream and not do. I knew this was something I would do again and again.

The second time was just as exhilarating as the first, if not more so. I again met a group of like-minded people working side-by-side for the same reason. The sanctuary has around 200 orangutans and they need to be fed, their cages cleaned, and ginger leaves cut every day from the forests so that the orangs can make their beds. Then there’s the river to weed, enrichment to make, bamboo to chop, platforms to be built using concrete..….it is incredible the way the group worked together. I coped well with the hard work. I could go at my own pace if I needed to, but it’s amazing what a surge of adrenaline can do for your endurance. I was in my element.

Orangutan at Samboja Lestari

I loved being part of the comradeship and the sheer ongoing joy that exuded so obviously from each volunteer. We all worked tirelessly for a cause that desperately needs more help….

It doesn’t matter what animals you support or which are your favourites, or what age you are… this volunteering experience with orangutans at Samboja Lestari Orangutan Sanctuary has to be amongst the best of them!

I am now booked to go back for the third time in June 2018 and I can’t wait!


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