Volunteer Review - Read All About Inge's Experience On The Great Orangutan Project!

Volunteer Review - Read All About Inge's Experience On The Great Orangutan Project!

Posted by Leanne Sturrock on 7th Feb 2017

Every now and then, we receive volunteer reviews which really make us smile. Today's blog post comes from Inge, one of our recent volunteers on The Great Orangutan Project in Borneo. Find out which memories she took away with her after the project came to an end, and what advice she could offer to any future volunteers!

What would you say was the highlight of your trip, or the biggest memory you took away from the project?

Their are so many memories, so it's difficult to choose. In general the most impressive thing is how close you are to the orangutans. They are so big: intelligent, human-like, and will look at you in a way you will never forget. Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes funny and always impressive. The looks on their faces are imprinted in my memory for ever. And of course my two favourite more specific memories: the memory of the last morning when one of the orangs posed like a model for us (beautiful!) and the bear swing we made for the bear cubs which they absolutely loved.

orangutan

Would you like to venture back to the project or even take on some new volunteering trips?

Yes, I will definitely go on another volunteering project! It is an amazing experience, working with animals, but also meeting interesting people from all over the world. I would love to go back to The Great Orangutan Project, but I am also interested to go work with the whale sharks. My partner said he would even join me on that one. We are divers and have seen a lot, from manta’s to reefsharks and hammerheads, but whale sharks are still on our wishlist!

Do you have any expert tips for new travelers?

Just go with the flow! Be flexible, and forget your efficient mode from your work or home environment. Things work differently in these countries and on these projects. Definitely bring old clothes, long socks and a waterproof phone case or bag that fits in your pocket. It is nice to take some pictures while working. And if you can, bring extra goods for the project. The centre had a wish list, and I just packed an extra bag with goodies, up to the max my airline allowed me to take!

young orangutan

Did the trip inspire you to help with animal conservation in any other way?

The trip gave me a lot of information that makes you think about your own role in animal conservation. And how many tourists (often unknowingly) contribute to suffering of animals, even if they look happy they are not here to amuse tourists and they should live a happy life in the wild.

And finally: why do you think others need to experience travel?

I have been travelling my whole life, during holidays but also during a 9 months trip through Asia. I have seen many places all over the world and it makes you realise how lucky you are to be born in this part of the world. It makes you humble, better informed and you appreciate little things more than before. You realise that your contribution to people and animals that don’t have such a good life is worthwhile.

volunteering in borneo


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