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Ute Kolling: Machia National Park (Villa Tunari)
Julian Shortt: Machia National Park

Ute Kolling: Machia National Park, Dec 2004

"To give you some feedback regarding my language classes and volunteering in Bolivia: I really have had a very good time. The school and the language classes were defenitely very good: great teachers, small classes, many extra activities, hiking, cooking-classes, samba-classes...I did learn a lot  at school. But I think it would have been much better, if I hadn't spent so much time with English-speaking tourists, which was my own fault!

My volunteering in the animal refuge at Villa Tunari was a great experience. Living and working there is quite extreme: very simple life, extreme weather conditions (I have never seen and felt so much rain in my life), pretty hard work, no free days, etc...but it was definitely worth it!! I will probably never be that close to animals again. And the village was not as cut off as I expected. There are quite a few restaurants, shops, cell phones and one internet-cafe (which works maybe 50-70% of the time).

The only problem with this volunteering placement is again the language. Since you spend all day with other volunteers everybody speaks English all the time. Anyway, thank you very much again for organizing everything...it was great!! Best wishes, Ute."

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