I think this is a fantastic program. It has really broadened my knowledge of the plight of the orang utan and has given me such a precious personal opportunity that I don't know if I would have found anywhere else. The staff are fantastic both in the Centre and the the Lodge. The lodge could do with a little bit of an update if possible but all in all its great.
Thank you for this opportunity and I really think I will take home some very precious memories from this experience. I would be prepared to talk to any future volunteers re my experience.
What Experience do you feel you are Gaining? I am gaining much more knowledge of the orang utan (will call them orangs from now on as orang utan is longer to type).I have always had a keen interest in primates, but actually observing the orangs on a daily basis and being able to really get to observe their individual personalities is very enriching to me. Not only do I get to observe the infants and juveniles we work with, but also the semi-wild and other orangs at the centre who I get to see on a daily basis. I love watching the antics of them and how at ease they are with humans, but still very much individuals...
Would you recommend this placement to anyone else? Definitely. This whole experience is fantastic. The fact that we need to commit to a two month placement really allows you to immerse yourself in the program, and gain genuine knowledge and experience, rather than just a snippet that you would receive if you did, say, a two week program. It also allows you to get to know the orangs as well as the fantastic staff that work with them. I am very comfortable in my temporary home.
What type of person do you this placement would suit? Well, I know what type of person this placement doesn't suit. Older aged people that are too set in their ways to adapt to a new situation, without whinging and complaining about everything. I find it such a downer to be around complainers, about the weather, about the food, about everything.
The type of people this program would suit and people that are able to take things as they are. Appreciate the simple things in life. Not expect things to be the same as where they are from. People that realise this is still a third world country and we are not entitled. People who love nature, love hot, humid weather, love the simple things in life, love an adventure, are quite capable of handling a good treck, and have a genuine interest in the conservation of the orangs. Basically people who can see the positive in life, no matter what they have been challenged with.
If you'd like to read Penelope's full feedback, click here and scroll down to "Reviews"