Volunteer and Intern Voice: Learning to Lead

By 5 years ago
Categories Jalova


Written by various volunteers and interns at GVI Jalova
As part of the Leadership Course offered at Jalova base, activities and talks are lead by short-term interns and thoroughly enjoyed by all! Here are just a few of the latest events that have been planned, organised and lead by our Leadership Course participants:
Over the past month other volunteers and I have been lucky enough to learn from staff members about different animals in the tropical area I am now comfortable calling home.  This past Friday we were lucky enough to hear from a fellow volunteer some interesting facts about chameleons I never knew about.  Enthusiastic would be an understatement when it comes to describing how Elco, our wonderful speaker and breeder of chameleons, feels about the reptile that is known for their ability to change the pigment of their skin based mainly on their mood.  However, that is not the only interesting fact we were able to discover.  For instance I never knew their tongue is usually about two times the size of their body and without it they would likely not survive much longer than a week.  I also did not know the top of their head is shaped in a slanted way so they can drink water from leaflets since they actually do not drink standing water.  On top of that chameleons can add the shortest living reptile to their repertoire as well!  These are only a few facts our speaker touched on considering the discussion went for a little over an hour.  I did not know much about chameleons beforehand, and it is always nice to learn more about the animals that roam our jungles, especially from someone with mountains of knowledge on the subject.
-Peter, 3 month Volunteer
Elco imparting expert knowledge on chameleons to interested staff, interns and volunteers.

On Friday afternoon we all gathered in anticipation for the scavenger hunt that the short-term intern Suzy had prepared for her leadership project.  In two teams we set off in search of clues placed in and around camp, ending up with a re-triangulation on the beach to rescue our team coconuts! Sateesh made this quite a challenge by digging almost too deep for us to be able to use our bare hands. Clues found, it was back to base to complete tasks we had been set, including creating a basket from natural materials, protecting an egg for a great fall and taking snapshots of a primate (our fellow team member) and a turtle on the beach (not necessarily a real one). Ultimately the event culminated in a tiebreaker task; a team egg toss won by Team 2! All in all a very fun afternoon, Suzy is awesome!

-Amy and Katie, 6 month Interns
Staff and interns digging for the final “treasure” during the scavenger hunt.

For the latest leadership activity, Elco had arranged a fishing competition. We prepared our own hand lines with bamboo and hooks and then we were ready to head down to the river mouth, which connects the ocean and the canals and where we normally can see crocodiles splashing around in the water or laying in the sand ready to hunt. We went out of the national park area and down to the water’s edge looking for the perfect spot to catch all the big fish. Everyone get totally wet and we had so much fun!

Unfortunately we didn’t catch any fish, but thank you Elco for this activity, it was really appreciated.
-Jenny, 1 month Volunteer