ALIYO! Aiyyo, Aiyyo! Aliyo: Today’s Anzacs in Lankan Conservation Work

Aussies and Kiwis depict their Conservation Work in Sri Lanka

Nate Bills …. Australia

The location for the project is awesome! You are so close to the national park and the villages where you can see elephants. Everyone working at the field house is so nice and they make it a good atmosphere when you are working or relaxing in between activities. The cooking from Mahinda is the best I had on my trip.

We were really lucky seeing elephants every day, especially at the park where we saw heaps in one afternoon and even saw one of the two bulls with tusks.

Ravi answered any questions I had before I arrived and Chinthaka and Chat were great with the organization of getting us there and planning all the activities. It was quiet when I was there but I would still definitely recommend it as the experience was incredible and I can imagine it would only be better with a lot of volunteers to share it with.

Activities Shelby & Nate did during a week

Monday, June 24th 2019 – Arrival and settling in. Orientation: Introduction to SLWCS, staff, community, projects and programs.

Tuesday, June 25th 2019

Morning – Dung transacts – Weheragala Tank (Lake). Observed marked dung plots for second week.

Afternoon – Observed one male elephant named Dilshan near the Weheragala Tank.

Wednesday, June 26th 2019

Morning – Pug mark survey, Akkara Kala paddy fields and stream.

Afternoon – One elephant was observed near the Weheragala Village electric fence trying to break the fence. A destroyed papaya garden was observed by the volunteers near the electric fence.

Thursday, June 27th 2019

Morning – Electric fence monitoring – Guruwelayaya. Elephant activities were observed near the fence.

Afternoon – visited the national park. Observed a total of 80 elephants in 4 herds.

Friday, June 28th 2019

Morning – Checking camera traps in Karu Forest.

Afternoon – Two elephants were recorded from the Tree Hut.

Shelby Cooper …… New Zealand

Kia Ora* & thanks so much for having me for this past week – I’ve learnt an invaluable amount about conservation & wildlife in such a short period of time. All the staff here are so much fun and I’ve enjoyed every moment with you even if I have no idea what most of you are saying most of the time.

I hope to be able to convince many more New Zealanders to choose to volunteer with your project!

Special mention about Mahinda’s cooking – as it’s the best food I’ve had whilst being in Sri Lanka for this past month.

All the best & I hope to see you guys again in the future – 1 week was too short!

*Kia Ora is a Māori-language greeting which translates literally as “have life”, “be well”, or “be healthy”, and is also used as an informal greeting equivalent to “hi” or “hello”.


Filed under accountability, charitable outreach, education, elephant tales, heritage, landscape wondrous, life stories, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, travelogue, unusual people

2 responses to “ALIYO! Aiyyo, Aiyyo! Aliyo: Today’s Anzacs in Lankan Conservation Work

  1. Hi Michael, Shared this… where can one find further information in case people are interested in volunteering? *Jeni xxx*

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