All the people that work at the Rescue Centre live for their work and they all have the sea turtles deep in their hearts
Hi! My name is Tessy Bodry. I’m 23 years old and started my volunteering program at the "ARCHELON Sea Turtle Rescue Centre" from the 21st of April until the 22nd of July (3 months). I applied because I’m very passionate about species and environmental protection. Marine animals always fascinated me. They have something truly magical on them. This is one of the reasons why it hurts me so much to see them suffer as a consequence of human behaviour. Fact is sea turtles are endangered. I always wanted to help those animals directly and now I had the opportunity to do so.
When I arrived I didn’t really know what to expect. Of course I was a bit nervous. New place, new people, new environment, new challenges, but mostly I was excited to finally help in a field my heart belongs to.
All concerns I had when I arrived vanished as soon as I met the people. The other volunteers welcomed me with a smile on their faces. The bosses introduced themselves so kindly to me. All the people that work at the Rescue Centre live for their work and they all have the sea turtles deep in their hearts. These people do everything possible to help and protect every single sea turtle that needs them, doesn’t matter if day or night.
It is hard work, not just physically but also mentally. A lot of the sea turtles that arrive have head injuries which are mostly caused by humans on purpose. Unfortunatly this is the reality. Other reasons why they are injured are because of boat accidents, fishing hooks/nets or plastic pollution.
My work consisted of cleaning the sea turtle and the tanks, feeding and feed preparation, tubefeed, assisting with the treatment, doing public awareness (giving tours to visitors), doing enrichment, picking up injured sea turtles, releasing them into their natural environment when they’re recovered.
After caring daily for them, you get really attached to the sea turtles. Every one of them has their own character, behaviour, favorite food, personal features. It is crazy how fast you get to know them and their special needs, even more special is it to see them improving every day. Until the day comes, when you get to see them swim away into the big ocean, feeling the freedom again and you feel their happiness with them. I was in the lucky position to see „Éire“ being released while being in the water, so I saw her swimming away and taking her first freedom-breath on the surface of the sea. It was one of the most beautiful moments in my life.
The time was truly life-changing for me. When I came, I thought I knew what I wanted to do next in my life. I questioned a lot of things and decided to not go in the veterinary medicine field as planned but apply to study environmental and bioressources management at the BOKU University of Vienna. I would like to work later for an association (an NGO) like this.
At the end, I just wanted to thank everyone of the team. Thank you for letting me be a part of this important work that you do. Thank you for teaching me. Thank you for all the friendships and beautiful memories that I will carry forever in my heart.
It was the best time of my life.
Be the change that you want to see in the world.
Keep protecting the planet, it is worth fighting for.
Lots of love,