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GAP YEAR | VOLUNTEER ABROAD | WORK EXPERIENCE OVERSEAS

 

Volunteers' Stories

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REBECCA DECHANT
British

Orang-Utan & Sun Bear Conservation at Sepilok Rehabilitation Center in Borneo, Malaysia

         

Throughout my experience I gained so much knowledge about orang-utans, especially working in the outdoor nursery with the orang-utans that were mainly 6+. It was amazing to see them getting more independent and learning about their daily behaviour patterns that cannot be experienced anywhere else.

I was then able to use this knowledge when visitors to the center asked me questions and I was surprised at how much I knew when they asked me.

Working with the babies taught me how much they depend on their mothers for such a long time - which I hadn't realised before I started.

I gained experience with getting on with a varied group of people and I managed to get on well with everyone for the whole placement.

Overall the best thing was working in the clinic doing the medical checks with Dr Cecelia. Her knowledge about orang-utans amazed me. It was really interesting to see how similar orang-utan babies are to human babies as well.

I also enjoyed staying in Tuaran while working at the Rasa Ria Resort. This gave me a real insight into living in Malaysia and has made me re-plan my travels this year and I am now going back to Malaysia to experience and see some more, which I may never have wanted to do if I hadn't done this placement.

Everything was amazing especially the amount of trips we got to take part in (e.g. Sipadan and climbing Mount Kinabalu) which made the trip so much better!!

If you want to work with orang-utans it's really hands on but making sure that you get to see the rehabilitation process at the same time. I would say to anyone considering taking part: It may seem like a lot of money at the time of booking it but as soon as I first held a baby orang-utan I knew it was worth so much more... priceless!!

We seemed to have a mixed type of person on our trip, going from me being the youngest and the oldest person who was in their 60's, and everyone enjoyed it as much as the other I think so I think most people can go.

I think I got a lot out of it by having an open mind when I went and this is very important because then you can only be happy at what you get there.

From a personal level having many allergies, I would advise anyone with dietary requirements to talk to Amoy, the chef, as soon as they arrive. She speaks very good English and can basically cook any combination of things off the menu and will do her best to help... she was ace!

Haven't got any improvements to suggest or a bad thing to say about the placement!!! Thank you so much Travellers for making a dream come true and I will definitely do another placement again!.

More Information about your Trip with Travellers

List of ALL PROJECTS in Malaysia
SEPILOK ORANG-UTAN Project in Malaysia
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