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ZZ Ninja Kid: World Snooze Tour Bed #44 Cambodian Wildlife Sanctuary

ZZ Ninja Kid: World Snooze Tour Bed #44 Cambodian Wildlife Sanctuary

We spent a week volunteering at the Cambodian Wildlife Sanctuary, 2 hours north of Siem Reap on the border with Thailand.

It was VERY VERY hard work but I had a great time, I made friends with a boy who lives at the sanctuary, his name is Pssit, he is 13, after we left I bought him a Barca kit and sent it to him and another kit for Pheakdey our team leader, so now there are 2 Barca fans at the Cambodian Wildlife Sanctuary 🙂

Our bedroom was a wooden hut on stilts with no roof so lots of insects & geckos shared our bed, twe did have a mosquito net but somehow they managed to creep in, there was no electricity so we had to use our headlamps at night (its very lucky our crazy friend Angie bought them for us because my Kindle didnt give much light).

The toilets & showers were a long way from our hut especially with no electric light so you couldn’t go in the night, there were bucket showers so you had to fill a bucket then tip it over your head, the shower area had hundreds of geckos hiding under the bucket and some ginormous spiders !

All the food was vegetarian, it was nice but it got a bit boring eating rice & veg 3 times a day.

Some of the jobs we did:

  • Chopping down banana trees & sugar cane with a machete (I liked this job but Mama would let me do much because she was worried Id chop my hand or foot off, I dont know why she worries so much because I was actually much better at it than the 4 gap year kids in our group, they could hardly even swing a machete, let alone chop a tree down !). We loaded the trees into the truck and back at the sanctuary we had to chop them into small bits for the older elephants to eat, you had to swing the machete and slice the fruit in half in one chop, it was like the ipad game Fruit Ninjas !
  • Chopping down jungle to build a firebreak to stop the wildfire from spreading, this was a really really hard job. We had to use a machete and a scythe and then rake it all into piles to make controlled bonfires. Its very scary because there are lots of wildfires burning because its so hot and dry (it hasnt rained for months) but also because the poachers set fire to the forest on purpose as revenge for not being allowed to hunt animals in the sanctuary. The Police Rangers patrol to try and stop them but the sanctuary is huge so its almost impossible, they let me hold their gun (Mama only let me because it wasnt loaded)
  • Building a dam. This was another tiring job but I really liked it because we were knee deep in clay mud and puddles with tadpoles & frogs, it was like sinking mud and I got stuck I manged to pull my leg out but I lost my Croc so Ellie had to dig down and get it but the strap broke because it was so stuck ! Mama and the other ladies didnt like playing in the mud !
  • Shovelling Cow Poo – we had to fill 60 sacks with cow poo for the vegetable garden. I taught the locals how to say cow poo in Spanish “Caca de Vaca” which they thought was very funny. I cant believe we paid the farmer $30 for US to do all the work and take the poo away but thats how the sanctuary helps the local farmers.
  • Feeding & bathing elephants. This was my favourite job, there are only 2 rescued elephants here, called Kamelin & Arun Rai, they are both female, 85 & 45 years old. They were both used for illegal logging and had horrible lives. Every day we had to hand feed them 100 kgs of fruit, they are very gentle, you have to put the bananas, watermelon, sugar cane on the end of their trunk and they quickly wrap their trunk around it and curl it up into their mouths. They eat with their mouths open and chomp the food so lots of spit comes out, Mama said I look the same when I eat ! We walked them down to the river and bathed them in dirty river water but they seem to like it because it cools them down, as soon as they get out they go and roll in the mud, its like their suntan cream.
  • Teaching English at 2 local schools. I cant believe I was a teacher !!!! It was really cool, I taught a grade 3 class and a grade 5 class, they only have one English lesson a month if there is an English volunteer in the village, I taught them colors, body parts, “my name is” and “I am X years old”, then we played football.

We had a great time volunteering at the Cambodian Wildlife Sanctuary, it was hard work but they really do need volunteers to help them save the rainforests for the animals.

Cost: $400 week adult and $200 week child – inc: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, electricity only a few hours a day so bring a torch and a fully charged power pack for your mobile/tablet. Wifi sometimes but not enough for YouTube.

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