Text by Alexander Montana Sethi
I have to sit and think back to recollect how long I’ve been here. Time has passed me and circled back and passed me again. I’ve gotten lost in the experience but I’m sure time is still running properly elsewhere. Its been three weeks since I’ve been here. My first two days were the last two days for the previous batch of traveller’s volunteers so my first night was a night out and second was their going away party. It was a great ice-breaker for me. The next day work started. I met all the bears but still memorizing names till now. I know all my favorites like Baby Foo (Fulung), Om, Nathalie, Manis, Kudat and Panda, and Amaco. Even through the small amount of contact we get, I've gotten familiar with quite a few and I think they can recognize me. Baby Foo, is the exception. He came after I did, and I’ve gotten closest to him because he’s still a baby and when he first arrived his bite wasn’t very strong. He arrived after my first week and in that time, we got to paint his cage and set up logs and a bunch of climbing equipment and hammocks (made of towels which he tends to rip through in a day or so now that he’s strong enough). When he first got here, his coat was rough and felt like a stuffed animal toy, but already with the diet he is on we can see his belly has gotten plumper, he is filling out, getting very strong, and his coat is nice and soft now that I want to pickup him up and play with him like he was my own cub.
I had no idea about conservation before getting here. I was always interested in animals and so volunteering on a conservation project seemed like the right choice for me. I am now so glad that I found Wong and the BSBCC because it has been the greatest experience so far. Its great to work hard and see the results, healthy animals. I stay until end of October with BSBCC then transfer to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center where I will work until December. Seeing as they have enough volunteers I would have liked to volunteer with BSBCC for my whole stay here but I had no idea about either organization prior to coming so splitting my time between the two seemed like the right choice. I have met most of the staff here and everyone has been quite welcoming. I’ve also made some friends that I'm positive I will keep in touch with after leaving. Amy, Wai Pak, Daniel, Roshan, to name a few.. So many people here and its such a community (with its ups and downs) but now that I've found my place I am very comfortable and happy and looking forward to enjoying each day. Work hard and the reward come naturally.