Volunteering abroad - a request to birding Aus members?

To: "'Marie Tarrant'" <>, "'Birding Aus'" <>
Subject: Volunteering abroad - a request to birding Aus members?
From: "Greg Little" <>
Date: Thu, 20 Oct 2011 18:53:47 +1100

I started a thread about this a few years ago and got shot down by someone.
Next time you are in Newcastle look me up and I'll give you a second hand
pair of binoculars.

Greg Little

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Marie Tarrant
Sent: Wednesday, 19 October 2011 8:38 PM
To: Birding Aus
Subject: Volunteering abroad - a request to birding Aus

Next year will be my fourth year combining a birding trip abroad with
working as a volunteer on an environmental project in the country I'll visit
to bird.

I love it and for me, volunteering is the perfect way to 'give back as well
as take away a great experience' in a third world country where most of the
population live in poverty and can only dream of what it must be to travel
abroad and to have expensive items like cameras and binoculars to support
your hobby.

This September I volunteered and then birded in North Sulawesi and for the
birding part of my trip I was fortunate to use a great local bird guide
who's also selflessly developing the bird ID skills of a small group of
young men in his village outside of Tangkoko NP so that they will one day
become great guides themselves.  Between all of them they have a substandard
pair of binos for practise and no hope of having the finances needed to buy
a pair.  That's not the only trip I made where it's been obvious to me how
hugely beneficial it can be to donate second hand binos to such ventures -
it's also got the added benefit of encouraging a love of birds and the
desire by locals to protect birds and nature - it can provide a small

Of course, on my return each time I've wanted  to coordinate the collection
of second hand binos people are willing to offer, yet posting them on is
fraught with all the unreliability of whether they'll actually make it in
one piece and whether they'll be apprehended and happily 'confiscated' along
the way.  Tales abound of such items never making it to their destination.
We also did it after a birding trip to Uganda several years ago but never
heard if the binos arrived - we suspect they didn't.

So, to cut to the chase, next May I'll be visiting Sri Lanka to bird and to
volunteer at a project based in Wasgomuwa NP 'Saving Elephants by Helping
People' project to address human-elephant conflicts.  The same group that
runs that project, are also looking at how to develop a community based
program to support bird conservation especially to work with school children
and so it would be great to be in a position to take a pair or two along
with me for the project.

Maybe there's someone out there on Birding Oz who just happens to have a
spare pair, gathering dust?   If so it'd be nice to hear from you and work
something out.....please respond off-list or whatever's appropriate.
Marie Tarrant
Kobble Creek,  Qld

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