Benjamin Westlake

Blog 003

Volunteering in Paradise
Day 02
South Africa
2016, February 16th

This jet lag may of hit me but we have to get up and start work..

0730 : Off we walk to the elephant house, bam the smell hits you, looking around on the floor all you can see is massive lumps off poo and hey, grab a shovel and a broom, shovelling up the poo and emptying it into the wheel barrow, washed down the floor now it is nice and clean, knowing full well that it would be back to how it was before in a matter of hours!

0900 : Breakfast time, the sun has already risen high into the sky the heat is rising and it is already 28'C.. today is going to be a long day..

1000 : Off we go to work, grab our gloves and defiantly some water... off we walk for about 5 minutes and to my amazement we see the 'British Set', this film set was in my memory from when I was younger watching a program called 'Wild at Heart' and to think i am here now witnessing it with my own eyes! Gloves go on, speaker is on and off we go.
Grabbing the weeds with two hands, with an almighty tug they come free from the ground, the reason we are weeding is that these weeds are poisons to some of the animals of the conservation, unfortunately in the past couple off weeks these weeds made the horses very sick, one even passed away.

1200 : Long mornings work in the hot sun and we are back for lunch, after some food we are off too the pool! finally some cold water!

1400 : We arrive at the couches and are told to put on some old clothes that we don’t mind being wrecked and to bring our GoPros... Ok what could this be?
Jumping into the truck the thoughts are going through our mind about what is about to happen?
The truck stops, we all get out and follow Bex to this small stream, we are told to fill some bags with mud and to create a dam..
Looking around you can see an area that has already been flooded before, and thinking about the YouTube videos that I have watched, I have an idea about what is going to happen...
Once the dam is made, mud goes flying people go falling and it is now a massive MUD FIGHT, 20 of us volunteers free for all!

16:00 : All of us covered head to toe in mud, baking in the sun so we are caked in a thick layer.. Grab our cameras and we are off.
Chop Chop as the others call it.. meat that is cut into manageable sizes to throw into the Big Cats enclosures...
First the three lionesses, then the cheetahs, tigers, big four lions, hyenas and then more lions.
An amazing site to witness, volunteers whom had threw the meat in are covered in blood, but they have done something that some people could only dream off.. I am tempted for next time even though i am squeamish..

1800 : Dinner and off to the bar with everyone for a beer.

Off now, check in tomorrow! :)

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