A young American woman is heading for Sri Lanka for the working holiday of a lifetime teaching English, repairing school—and herding elephants away from rural villages.
Mass Live, a Springfield Massachusetts news site, reports that court officer Sylvia Ferreira (pictured) signed up with International Volunteer HQ, a New Zealand-based charity that has provided “volunteer vacations” for more than 50,000 volunteers in 32 countries.
Says Sylvia: “The elephants are getting into farms and crops and getting killed by farmers. I’ve always loved traveling — this allows me to help others too.”
Helping children and elephants just seemed like a natural combination, she says, and “I’ve probably only seen an elephant in person a handful of times at the Big E, but something inside told me that Sri Lanka was it.”
While working full-time at the courthouse and taking classes at Bay Path University, Ferreira has devoted dozens of hours to the trip.
She made reservations, completed paperwork and endured a battery of shots — rabies, tetanus, typhoid, among others. Last month, she visited the Sri Lankan embassy in Washington to get her visa.
She purchased a backpack, a sleeping bag, malaria pills, school supplies for the children—“and lots of bug spray”!
Read the full story here.