Blissful Solitude and Gratitude (February-March 2010)

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New Zealand and Australia held such beauty in biodiversity that it was only natural for me to want to travel to these places and preserve them as a conservation volunteer. It was important to find meaningful experiences in travel, especially when crossing long distances to get there. I found pockets of blissful solitude in New Zealand and Australia, whether in Christchurch Botanic Gardens or through my swim in the Great Barrier Reef. In return, I was only gracious to be able to lend a hand to Mother Earth.

Christchurch and Willowbank, New Zealand

Nature Conservation Volunteer

I joined Conservation Volunteers in 2010 and collaborated with international groups for nature conservation work. We covered Willowbank and Kaiapoi River area in New Zealand’s South Island and Atherton Tablelands in Australia. Day-to-day activities involved building a rainforest and restoring a marshland in efforts of returning biodiversity to the regions. We did a whole lot of weeding, mulching, washing out used garden containers to eliminate pests and unwanted seeds. We planted fresh seeds to grow food that would lure the native animals and insects to return. Protective layers, sunblock application, pest repellent and regular hydration were needed on the job. A gratifying aspect of volunteering here was the access to the rare beauty of these regions. The ability for all these volunteers to take the time in their lives to come together, from around the world with the common goal of preserving our earth, was a special moment and opportunity.

Live Footage out in the field in New Zealand

Our Volunteer Home in Australia

We stayed at volunteer homes in Australia and shared rotating chores, e.g. preparing meals for our international group. This was a wonderful way to bond with our peers and build lasting memories. After work we enjoyed outdoor activities together, including swimming at the Great Barrier Reef, a hike through the rainforest and evening walks.

Live Footage out in the field in Australia

Atherton Tablelands, Cairns, Sydney, Australia

Follow Jenny S.W. Lee:

Greater Boston, Seattle and Vancouver (BC) based artist & photographer exhibiting internationally.

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