Earlier this year. Kerry returned from her volunteer experience at Samboja and had plenty of positive things to say about her trip. Check out our interview with Kerry just below!
What was the highlight of your trip?
I'd have to say the biggest highlight was being lucky enough to be at Samboja Lestari when 10 orangutans started their journey to a new pre-release island that put them one step away from life in the wild. To meet the CEO of the BOS foundation and all the release team was amazing. The passion with which they speak about the orangutans is inspiring and truly heartfelt.
There are so many more memories from my trip that I will never forget. Getting to see and know all the different personalities of the orangutans is something that will stay with me forever, and made it so hard to say goodbye to them. I also got to meet some amazing people along the way, from my fellow volunteers to the staff that looked after us: Kate, Wiwick, and Sam.
Would you go back, or to any other projects?
I'd go back in a heartbeat. When my time at the project came to end, I didn't want to leave. Saying goodbye to the orangutans left a tear in my eye and I look forward to seeing them again. Especially seeing Papa and Kopral on their islands that we helped to prepare!
What are your tips for new travellers?
It may seem daunting at first, but you will love every minute of it. Embrace every moment of it. You’re in good hands with Kate, Wiwick, and Sam. Couldn't ask for better people to guide you through the whole experience.
Take plenty of clothes, as you'll either be wet from sweat or from the rain, but you do get used to it! Some of the work is hard (especially in the humidity), but knowing that what you are doing is helping to make a difference to the orangutans’ lives, makes it all worthwhile and fulfilling.
If you had to describe your trip in 3 words, what would they be?
Love; unforgettable; rewarding.
Did the trip inspire you to help animal conservation in any other ways?
I've always had a passion for animal conservation, but getting to do hands-on stuff has inspired me to try to do more and to raise people's awareness about the plight of not only the orangutans, but of all animals. We need to realise we need these animals as to survive, as much as they need us.
Why do you think that people need to travel?
I think people need to travel to broaden their worlds. To be able to experience other places and cultures is something you never forget. It puts you outside your comfort zone and can push you to do things that you never thought you could possibly do. Not only are you learning about new cultures, people, and animals, I think it also gives you a better understanding of yourself.
To find your place on the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Volunteer Project, head to the project page now and save 15% if you book before midnight on November 30th!
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