EVS Program continues to offer ARCHELON the chance to host volunteers from other European Countries for 2017. This year another 3 volunteers have been able to meet new people and volunteers from all over the world with different cultural backgrounds and share the common experience of ARCHELON. ACHELON is the place to be for gaining a lot of friends, participating in a project for a good cause as well as feeling like a second home. Please see below their thoughts about how they combined living in a foreign country as EVS Volunteers and how ARCHELON affected their lives.
Robert Reinl from Sweden
“My EVS experience.
Before I even heard about Archelon or EVS I was traveling through New Zealand and during my time there I heard about this project from another fellow traveler that would allow me to travel and get new working experiences at the same time. So I thought this sounds great and applied the minute we reached a hostel with a working computer.
I just applied for the first thing I saw basically and ended up working for 2 months in Portugal with kids. I had such a great time but I just felt that this was not enough, the story had just begun.
So after getting home I kept in touch with the people from EVS and all of the sudden a 5 month long project in Greece working with Sea Turtles appeared. I was so excited that I that I didn’t know what to do with myself.
I got accepted and was off to Greece. I have never been to Greece before nor have I ever seen a turtle. So after a rather strange but funny welcoming (I was the only boy in the center for 4 months, so the pressure was on) I finally got to see these amazing animals and I’m still to this day amazed that I get to work and take care of them.
Being in Greece has been great I’ve certainly fallen in love with the weather and the people because the share a lot of qualities, they are nice, warm and hotheaded.
For me traveling is about meeting new people and being in a place that has people coming and going constantly feels great. I’ve meet such amazing folks here and they will certainly be my friends for life.
I’ve learnt much about other people but even more so about myself and gained a lot of confidence in the process. This is something I would recommend to anyone looking for a new perspective on life, someone that simply needs a fresh breath of air.
I know I enjoyed it and I think you will too.“
Gabriela Moura Caldeira from Portugal
“When saying goodbye is the best reward you can have!
About a year ago I decided it was time to embark on a new adventure and live something I had never experienced, in a new place with new people and cultures.
The only certainty I had in mind was that I would like to dedicate this time to doing something I truly love, almost like a dream come true. And that's how the opportunity showed up and I started living for 6 months in Greece in a train wagon parked on a beach somewhere in Glyfada working on sea turtle rehabilitation. Yeah, this looks really amazing and actually it is!
ARCHELON gave me the opportunity to work through its European volunteer project for young people (EVS) in its "hospital" for sea turtles, a species that this association protects and for this reason it was founded.
Here every day is different, despite all the daily routines and procedures that we have to follow by the book, the truth is that we are working with animals so no day is the same as the one before.
With a multi-cultural team that I can practically call family, we work hard every day for our purpose, save / rehabilitate as many turtles as possible. Our mornings are filled with miscellaneous tasks, which include cleaning animals and their rehabilitation tanks, treatments, medications, observation of behavior, feeding among many others.
All the accomplishments are lived intensely. So, the best daily motivation we can have is by witnessing our animals starting to recover.
It is, though, the final stage of their release that gave this article this kind of title and one could say, it is the icing on the cake, one of the best feelings you can experience, a "mission accomplished" when we release the sea turtles where they belong to, the ocean! With your heart filled with excitement and motivation you go back to the place you now call home and return to ARCHELON routine.
I finish my story / article thanking all the people who during these months in Greece shared with me their time, love, knowledge, joy and also some sorrows. This was undoubtedly one of the best experiences I have ever experienced.
I hope that all those who would like to experience something like this get the opportunity to do so, because spending time in our lives to help those in need, it brings more rewards than we can imagine.
Together we can change the world!!”
Anton Kristiansson from Sweden
After walking my town for half a year without a paid job I got to participate in a project with the intention to put people out on internship, one day we had 2 EVS volunteers coming to our meeting to talk about EVS, the possibility of going abroad, meet people from all over the globe and do volunteering for no cost at all, this project really sounded like a dream for me as a 19 year old guy with no money and a desire to see the world.
The main reason that it came to be Archelon that I got placed at was that it was the first spot I got to hear about, and with my big interest for animals I doubted that I could have easily find another project which lets me get so close to an animal that I had never met in my life. The sea turtles seemed interesting to me and I could not have been more eager to leave my home for a couple of months, so I decided to take the chance and it was such a good decision.
My time here is getting close to its end and my experience of the project have been nothing but good, I have met so many people from all over the globe, from young to old, and it has been so much fun. The work does not always go by as smoothly as I would want it to go but it is a very rewarding work when you see the turtles getting better and better and finally to get released. I also appreciated the workhours which gave us lots of free time to do whatever we could feel like.