Had you seen an elephant before?
Yes, in 2005 and Kruger National Park.
How did you feel when you first saw an elephant with EHRA and where did you see them (was it in camp or on build or patrol)?
Absolutely amazed. It was 3am at the base camp and they were eating the branches in the tree house. I couldn’t believe my eyes.
What did you learn about the problems of people and elephants living together?
The people are very scared of the elephants and the elephants can be very destructive. We need to work with villages and teach them how to co-exist with elephants.
What will you always remember from your time with EHRA?
Camping under the stars and not washing for a week! And the amazing hard work of the EHRA team and the difference they are making.
Have you traveled or volunteered before? If so where?
Yeah, I traveled to Australia 2 years ago. That was obviously another experience than here in Africa. I’ve been to South Africa for 2 months before I came here. I’ve never done volunteering before.
Was the experience with EHRA what you thought it would be?
I couldn’t imagine how the patrol would be like. But the build week was exactly what I thought it would be. I really liked to build the wall and do something with my hands, like the people here need.
How did you like sleeping outside?
I love it!
Sleeping under the stars in one of the best things ever! So beautiful! And Chris showed me how to take pictures with my camera (from the stars) even better 🙂
How did you find not washing?!
I honestly haven’t had a big problem with it! All of us did smell, so no big deal! But yeah, I enjoyed the shower after that long time.
Name:Eli (AKA The rock)
Why did you choose to volunteer with EHRA?
I choose to volunteer with EHRA because I wanted to see a port of Namibia that one wouldn’t generally get to experience as a mere tourist. I had read a lot about the camping and patrol aspect of the program and was very excited for that part. Additionally, I wanted to engage on productive and meaningful work with a tangible outcome that actually provided a benefit to the community. Building walls seemed to fit that perfectly.
What was build week like?
Build week was at hard work and rewarding. We made a sample camp behind a modest farmstead that consisted of a large communal sleeping canopy. The area was particularly scenic, sunrise and sunset among the endless mopane trees was lovely and a good despite from the gruelling mid-day heat. Sharing a sleeping bag with a scorpion was the highlight. The build itself was chaotic, but in the end everything came together.
What happened on your patrol?
Patrol was a completely different experience. The entire group fit into one very loaded Land Cruiser with a very simplified camp set up.