Experienced UK science teacher, Richard, has volunteered twice in a township school in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Richard worked closely with the local science teacher, and their mutual learning has enabled the beginning of a ‘roll-out’ programme to other schools in the area …

Today, we received this great news: My friend Simo entered his Grade 7 learners into a Science Expo Competition … They won a Bronze Medal! Most of the other students were from wealthy Independent schools. This is an amazing result!”

Grade 7 - bronze medallists

Grade 7 – bronze medallists

 

Congratulations to all – this just goes to show what can be achieved by volunteers and local people working together!

thanks for the news, Richard.

Jungle Dad leaves the MLC

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By npegler1 | Filed in volunteer stories | No comments yet.

The name given to me by Nica a six month intern at the MLC
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we met at Cusco airport where we were picked up by a crees employee for transfer to our hotel for the night, we both realised that we smoked and have been smoking buddies ever since, terrible habit I know but I have had my most interesting conversations with people whilst having a fag!

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Bio gardens – last visit

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By npegler1 | Filed in volunteer stories | No comments yet.

bio last 1

We went to Salvacion on Tuesday morning and arrived at the bio garden we were working on at about 9.30 and worked all day until about 5pm, working in the open with no shade was really hard and we were all worn out by the end of the day.

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Butterfly and pit fall trap survey

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By npegler1 | Filed in volunteer stories | No comments yet.

There are various pit fall traps set in the ground around the MLC and as they had been closed for a week we had to check and open them all up, they consist of a length of tarpaulin stretched across the ground with plastic buckets set in the ground at intervals, the idea being that frogs etc. are diverted into the bucket and can be collected for surveys, it was a day’s work to do this and then we spent another day checking butterfly nets.

butt trap pit trap2

butterfly trap                               pit fall trap

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Sallie was interviewd by the daily telegraph recently for this piece sallie headshotSMALL

 

“Volunteering placements abroad are a popular choice for gap years, but projects need to be chosen wisely or there is a danger participants may end up doing more harm than good.

Kristina is a friendly 19-year-old from the UK, who recently went on a volunteer placement in Cambodia.

“We were told it would involve a mixture of teaching and building water pumps for rural families,” she says. “However, during the placement, only two out of the 14 of us taught English. The rest of us literally dug a road. We moved piles of dirt for six weeks – and right at the end, a digger turned up and finished it in about half an hour, which was fairly infuriating.” The voluntary placement cost £3,500.

“Voluntourism” is big business these days, with well-meaning travellers like Kristina paying thousands of pounds to spend a short time working towards a cause in another country. But how can you be sure your money (and you) will be doing any good? And, more importantly, you won’t be doing any harm?

read the whole article here 

Mirador

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By npegler1 | Filed in volunteer stories | No comments yet.

Mirador
This is an area at the top of a hill where you can admire the view, we left at 9am and it took nearly 3 hours to walk up to the top, a distance of about 4 miles with a 500 metre gain in height through the rain forest, the view from the top was amazing which is where we ate lunch and then started the long trek down.
As soon as we got back to camp it was a cup of tea and a soak in the hot springs for an hour.
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Thursday 31st

 

We arrived yesterday late in the morning after stopping in the small town of Salvacion for some shopping but the town was shut!

We met up with the rest of the volunteers from Shipetiari nearly all of whom had the sickness bug, I wonder if you can guess what we renamed SHIPetiari!

In the afternoon we had a 25 minute walk to the waterfall into which we all plunged then we walked back to camp and got into the hot springs which was bliss, we stayed in until we were wrinkled as the water is the temperature of a hot bath!

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The camp consists of a wooden building containing the kitchen/diner and a larger building we sleep in, two to a room plus four tents inside an open area and two hammocks and a tent outside.

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Bio gardens

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By npegler1 | Filed in volunteer stories | No comments yet.

Tuesday 29th
Visited the bio gardens for the first time today, we were introduced to Reynaldo and had a look around his house, he has a garden and a huge fish pond and we asked about two of the large fish in there, I thought he said they weigh 2 kilos but it turned out he meant 12 kilos
fish pond low

We then went to the house of a community member and helped to start the process of erecting a roof over his garden, the idea being that the rain doesn`t wash away all of the nutrients in the soil, as it was only a short visit we didn`t finish the job but we made a good start.

bio low

Walking trees and Woolly monkeys

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Monday 28th

Yes trees do walk in the forest! Only and inch a year to reach the light but walking all the same, they send down roots that they use to pull themselves along.

I did pose the question what do they do if the light has gone when they get there!

walk tree

We had a good day but tough, over six hours in the rainforest and the MLC is very steep in places at about forty five degrees, we saw a group of woolly monkeys in the canopy, a parrot fell out of a tree at our feet! It looked concussed, we also saw loads of leaf cutter ants and some Puma prints in the mud.

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This year’s sexy jungle look!

Saturday 26th At the MLC

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mlc low 1

The weather has improved today and it wasn`t too cold at 4.20am this morning, left the MLC at 5.20 to go to the clay lick which is just across the river from the MLC

clay pic low
Macaw’s and Parrots gather here to eat the clay as it helps neutralise the toxins in their diet and gives them essential minerals, it is a good place to do surveys on the numbers of parrots and what effect if any tourists have on the numbers of birds collecting at the clay lick.

wet2

At about 9am we went out for a forest walk, the jungle around here is harder going than Shipetiari as there are quite a few climbs and descents,
after a three hour walk I was shattered as I had picked up a stomach bug at Shipetiari, two members of staff who were there picked up the bug and to my knowledge a couple of volunteers also did, maybe it`s the water although it is treated.
So after a snooze and a shower I am feeling a lot better and tomorrow is an easy day so I can rest.