My name is Bethany and I am 14.
Greece was the best experience I ever took part in. I bonded and worked with everyone who took part in the trip. I enjoyed beach clean ups and it made me feel like a better person, however when I started to pick up the litter, I was determined to not stop. As I’m a really competitive and sporty person I really enjoyed the evening sports games of rounder’s and rugby. It really developed our teamwork and leadership skills and also kept us active. Even though the walk to the waterfall was very long and exhausting, it was really worth it as the water was pure blue and refreshing. As well as the time spent on the beach, we did get a taste of city life for a few days and nights. Including a museum tour, an amazing view of the acropolis as well as the remains of ancient Olympia. When we visited Olympia it was really fun as we got to take part in a race to win the wreath.
I loved spending time in the sea with my friends watching the sun go down. Waking up at six in the morning to do beach patrols looking for turtles and nests. We actually saw a turtle slide back into the sea after laying eggs and it even swam back to shore and said hello to a student. When searching for eggs the sand was warm and the excitement of finding them was unreal. I really loved the Greek meals we were given, they were not only healthy, they were delicious and refreshing. The travel wasn’t bad at all either, I loved travelling on the coach and aeroplanes.
I am so glad I got to go on this amazing trip, I have learnt so much from it especially about ocean plastics and what they can do to marine life. This has not only improved my life. This is the start of a new beginning, as this is the start of my travels. My dream has always been to travel the world. I also thank Brad and Ian of Flooglebinder for helping me have an eye opener to what career I want to do when I’m older. I just want to go back to Greece!
Bethany is a bright and bubbly bundle of joy. Featured in Part 2 of 3 series, Bethany is one of twenty four students who travelled to Greece for 8 days to work with the Sea Turtle Protection Society. She studies at Eastbury Community School in Barking and Dagenham is a borough with the highest unemployment rates and one of the lowest household incomes of any London borough and it took two years for the students to save up for the experience to join the conservation project.
The Sea Turtle Rescue Centre was set up in 1994 with the Municipality of Glyfada and the financial support of the Environmental Ministry. The tasks of the STRC are to rehabilitate injured and sick sea turtles and to raise public awareness. The most common injuries for which turtles are being treated are: amputations due to fishing gear entanglement, ingestion of hooks and other materials such as plastic bags, deliberate head injuries by fishermen, collision with speedboats etc. The function and maintenance of the Rescue Centre is based on volunteers. Every year almost 50 volunteers work on sea turtle treatment, maintenance and public awareness.
After studying Marine Biology at Uni, we founded Flooglebinder. Through travel, we connect people with nature and help them explore new cultures and communities in the hope to create the next generation of global citizens. Adventures are the best way to learn. Taking part in conservation projects, engaging with other like-minded youths and gaining life skills is valuable to their own personal development outside the classroom, create new friendships and will empower them to make a positive impact. We provide educational programmes and travel experiences for students, families and groups of all ages with the aim to conserve threatened habitats, protect endangered species and ultimately create better global citizens. And have a great time!
NOW MESSAGE: MORE THAN ONE DAY BACK is a special three-part series from September to December 2017. It is important for all of us and the next generation to travel and learn to look at the world in a new perspective. Having a great time while immersing yourself in culture, conservation and community in a week-long conservation project or giving ‘One Day Back or More’ from your vacation to your host community will hopefully inspire a passion and commitment to protect all three.
Giving ‘One Day Back or More’ to the local community of your chosen destination is an enriching experience that has the potential to be life-changing. Next time you book a holiday, email the hotel or resort and ask them for suggestions on how you could spend your ‘One Day Back or More’. Ask them to reach out to local charities and organisations, provide you with suggestions and make the arrangements for you.
NOW would love to feature your ‘One Day Back or More’ stories too. For more information, take a look here: https://www.itmustbenow.com/itmustbenow-magazine-contributor/
Ian Taylor and Brad Frankel
Founder – FLOOGLEBINDER