Another summer season has come to its end and EVS program was apparent once again at our projects with two new young volunteers from Sweden.
A bright man, only 19 years old, Aksel Berglund, evolved into an inspiring volunteer and amazing doer at ARCHELON’s Rescue Centre project. He stayed at the project for almost 5 months and surely left a positive mark at the Rescue Centre.
ARCHELON also gave the opportunity to another EVS volunteer, Moa Walter, who was 19 as well, to offer an important contribution to Rethymno project for the whole season.
So, here are their thoughts about ARCHELON and EVS program:
Aksel Berglund, 19, Sweden
What did Archelon give me?
I was never prepared on the kind of experiences I would get by being here at ARCHELON Rescue Centre. And, frankly, I think I never would be, despite reading about everyone else’s experiences before me while being here. It’s one thing about reading and imagining about how it will be and another experiencing it.
Being me, a 19-year-old boy from Sweden that recently finished school without any idea of what to do next in life except from choosing to study further or beginning to work, neither which I found compelling, I found myself at a crossroad either to choose studying or working. But with the help of Navigatorcentrum and EVS, I had a third choice of travelling abroad while volunteering. I decided to come here at ARCHELON’s Rescue Centre because it was something I never had done before and never would imagine doing.
But, what have I learned by being here and what has ARCHELON given me in the end?
Most obviously, I gained knowledge about sea turtles, the environment, how to treat them and the importance of fighting for the protection and conservation of sea turtles.
And I’m grateful for learning these, but I also had a lot of experiences that I would never have at my age if I hadn’t been here. For instance, the importance of listening and trusting those around you while sharing the responsibilities for each other.
Another thing was to experience what the fear and the effect of an environmental disaster can have on people and their natural surroundings especially when talking about the great oil spill of the tanker which happened in mid-September.
All these experiences have helped me becoming closer to the person I want to be.
What I will do next I haven’t decided yet, but one thing that I’m sure of is that I’m coming back to my new ARCHELON family. If anyone has the chance to come and volunteer at ARCHELON I would definitely recommend to do it.
It will be an experience you will carry with you for your whole life.
Moa Walter, 19, Sweden
I have learned to take responsibility, to get up early every day. Each day was unique for me since I always experienced something new, no matter if it was related to turtles or personal life. I also got friendships that I know will last for a lifetime. I developed my English skills as well at a point which I am able to talk without even translating and to become bilingual. Last, it was a good opportunity for me to appreciate other cultures and other people.