This is the place to go if you want to experience life in a Malay village and volunteer for a good cause. I have to agree that the routine and village work are challenging but with a positive mindset makes all the difference! The facilities are very basic, shared accommodation with bathroom, duties of gardening and composting are shared out by the staff and volunteers through the week and there are lesson plans and presentations to work on. There are rapid changes within the week on what we need to plan or do due to the nature of volunteering work. For example, class for the children can be cancelled due to exams, we could help out to setup a Malay wedding in the village, beach cleaning, running games and skids for visiting groups, fetching water from the well due to a water shortage, just to name a few! It's hard work but it is also the most fun and fulfilling and enriching experience we had for travels. The villagers are really friendly and the kids love hanging out with the staff and volunteers. We also had a chance to witness a green turtle coming on beach to lay eggs and observing them in their natural habitat.
Seh Ling and staff are very attentive to our needs and i find them very passionate about their work on this island. You could ask them any questions or clarify doubts and they'll be happy to share their views and even adopt your ideas. It's hard saying goodbye at the end of my stay with Ecoteer.
A note to new travelers and volunteers, learn to be open and flexible with the itinerary. There are plenty to learn when working as a team, it takes time to adapt and no one is perfect! If you have the skills set, just asked to be the lead and discuss it with the staff.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Try something different on the Perhentians - Stay at the Community & Conservation Project a.k.a. Fuze Ecoteer House in the one and only village that can be found on the Perhentian Islands. Immerse yourself in Malay culture, go on an eco-snorkel tour, get involved in beach cleans, spread environmental awareness to the children and share a traditional Malay dinner with one of the families. It's true island life with a twist! ... more less