Text and Photos by Tanja Andersen
My name is Tanja Andersen. I am a woman aged 26, and I come from Danmark. I am educated animal keeper from the world of zoo, which lasted 3 years and 8 months. I know it is really hard to get a job within my field, but sometimes her in life one has to take a chance, stop thinking too much and just do it, although one is anxious, but the most important is to believe in oneself, "because one can if one wants to." This is the first part, it is to be continued.
Before I came to Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BCBCC), I had asked some persons from the world of animal keeping, what was their opinion about volunteering abroad. There were very different opinions about this in Denmark, if it is bad or good. But I took a chance and moved, hoping that it would help me on my way to my dream and that I will get my life experience.
I can describe this with a few words: "It is all worth it". So come and do it, do the good thing for animals and for those people, that use all their spare time with them. I came to Malaysia to work as a volunteer and to get my life experience. Travelling here was so enriching. Great experience, new friendships, learning how it is working in a new country, and wildlife experiences with bears.
The first time I stepped into the BSBCC (01.10.2010) they were so friendly, and were welcoming me with open arms. I really appreciate, that everybody was so nice, because I was a bit nervous, and they took their time to listen and understand of me. I was not really good in English but I will try my best.
I began working the second day (02.10.2013) I was really excited about what is going to happen, because I had to work in the bear house. When I came, everything was like I had dreams and hoped, it was even better than i had dreamed and I got the most warm welcome. It was really pleasant atmosphere, everybody was willing to help me, and tell me about things happening in the bear house.
It began that they explained the rules and the working day. They didn't mind getting questions. I work together with a bear keepers and bear staffs. Everybody is friendly, easygoing and really funny. I have the most wonderful days with them, and time goes fast, unfortunately, because I like working with bears. It is a really great feeling making something good for sun bears.