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Volunteer Testimonials

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Jasmin Dreier: Masai Mara Lion, Wildlife Research and Conservation in Kenya; Chimpanzee Orphanage in Zambia; Whale Shark and Mantra Ray Conservation in Mozambique

Kenya Kenya  |  Sep 28, 2011
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 It was a jackpot-project 

Jasmin Dreier is a waitress from Switzerland who chose to embark on a 3 month trip around to see lions, chimpanzee's and sharks in Africa.

 Tell us about your experiences with Kaya (sign up process, preparation) I had a really good preparation with Kaya. They helped me a lot. I booked my trip quite shortly, but Kaya helped me everywhere. It was really nice to have Kaya, which could help me about quite everything. A really good thing is the documents about every project which they sent me per mail. They knew the most important things, which was so helpful.

Tell us what made you chose that particular project/country? Kenya: I always want to see lions, cheetah, leopard, and a lot more animals. The reason why I chose this project was because you had so many things to do! There was work with the Masai, children and students and the research with the animals. And at the end I must say. It was a jackpot-project Zambia: I want to see chimpanzees and work with them.Mozambique: My whole live I want to go diving and that was the perfect project. I also chose this because it allowed me to see another country in Africa. It was interesting to see big animals underwater as well as living close to the beach and sea.

Tell us about your experience in you accommodation Kenya: It was easy because you had everything which you needed. The accommodation was good, clean, you had hot water sometimes, and that was a real luxury. The first day when I arrived I felt at home. It was perfect accommodation. The food was great, we had always enough to eat, although we were 5 hours away from the next bigger city…so it was amazing. I would recommend this accommodation to everyone. It’s really great. Zambia: The accommodation was ok. You stayed with some other volunteers in a bungalow although the beds were not as comfortable and the internet signal was very sporadic which made it hard to stay in contact with family and friends. The food portions were also small so I would have liked them a little bigger. Mozambique: We lived in a beach-house which was amazing. There were around 9 people in one dorm, so it was really warm. The living room was big and nice. The kitchen was ok too. 

Tell us about your role in your projectKenya: Every volunteer was really important for the project and their manager. They gave you a good feeling and you really felt, that you are changing something. You had responsibilities. And so you felt important. At the end I had amazing experiences and had tears to say goodbye.Zambia: There was not too much work here. You walked up the cages, cleaned them, feed the chimpanzees and that’s it. The work at the end is ok, but there were lots of workers!Mozambique: There was a little work here but we were out of luck because we didn’t see very many mantas or whale sharks.

What were you most worried about before you came? I was worried that I would not be able to find the person who was supposed to pick me up from the airport. In the end it was all easy! There was a small trouble in Mozambique but it was easily solved. 

What have you been surprised by during your stay? That’s a hard question. I think the thing in Kenya that I felt at home the first day I arrived.

What has been the highlight of your trip? The highlight of Kenya were the animals and to get know the Masai. I also made a lot of new friends there. In Zambia it was to hold a chimpanzee and in Mozambique to see a 3 metre long shark and mantas.

What has been a volunteer mean to you (versus just visiting as a tourist)? No, I didn’t want to be a tourist. I wanted to be in a big family and to get know the people so that they would accept me as a friend and not just a paying tourist. This feeling was the most important for me. 

How has this experience affected you? I really want to do more projects, travel more and help were I can. I care a lot about the way animals are treated. It made me more confident about m self, I grew a lot there

Do you think this experience will influence you in your job back at homeSure, a bit. But it is hard to change yourself at home and in your job. I work as a waitress, and there are some rules which I can’t change.

What would you say to others thinking about taking part in a volunteer project? That it is the best thing that you can experience! You will meet a lot of people, get to know different cultures, be free, learn a language really easily, make friends and most importantly, grow in yourself. 

Do you think your work experience was useful to you on your projectYes, in all 3 countries. I work in the hospitality and tourism industry so that is something which I saw every day

Any other commentsKenya was just great!

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