Highlights of the trip:
I really enjoyed my stay at the zoo because I learned a lot about Australian wildlife. You can tell that Donna and Gil are very animal-loving by the way they care about them and always try to feed and let them live species-appropriate.
It’s hard to tell what I liked most about my stay because there are so many things I loved to do! I guess feeding the crocodiles and kangaroos were two of my favourite tasks to do. In general, interacting with the animals, especially with the birds that have been hand-raised and therefore very tame was fun.
Comments on the team, food and accommodation:
The IVI team was very supportive and I knew I could come back to them if I needed any help.
Donna and Gil weren’t importunate and left me the space I needed for myself. I worked for about 3 to 5 hours a day and the rest was free time. They gave me days off to travel and advised me which cities and hostels are the best to visit for backpackers. You can tell they have much experience with volunteers and usually understand your needs and interests.
The food was always fresh and I could ask for everything I wanted and it would be there for me the next day. Breakfast was every day together with Donna, Gil and all other workers. Sometimes, Donna and Gil invited their volunteers to have dinner with them which was always very tasty.
The accommodation was dirty when I arrived and Donna and Gil told me they leave the maintenance of it to the volunteers but unfortunately, not everyone seems to have the same hygienic standards so I had to clean the whole place by my own. I understand that Donna and Gil don’t want to take responsibility for the cleanness of the accommodation because it’s up to the volunteers to take care of it, but at the same time, it’s not fair for the following volunteers to have to clean up everything. That’s why I would suggest to let someone go to make a deep clean of the accommodation every now and then. But overall, the accommodation provided everything I needed. There were a washing machine and detergent, a fridge, even a freezer and enough space to store one’s belongings. Plus, a big garden and a pool to relax after work.
Any improvements to help us be better:
If I’d have to give any advises I’d say that the cleanness of the accommodation could improve.
Furthermore, the IVI team could help to avoid misunderstandings between the volunteers and the employer by naming the exact bus stop where one will be picked up.
All in all, I’m glad to have done this volunteer program. This was my first volunteer experience and it was a good one. So I’m certain this won’t be the last one!