I spent 4 weeks at the Elephant Orphanage, and it was incredible! The people there were so friendly and welcoming.
The first week there I was very nervous. After a few days I got to know all the other volunteers and felt so much better. The staff who were helping us out went out of their way to make us feel at home. The home we stayed in was lovely, and we felt very safe there.
The orphanage itself was amazing! Being that close to them was such an honour (although the poo was smelly, you got used to it after a few days!).
We began early in the morning, cleaning out the sheds which took about 2 hours. Then we headed back to the house for a shower (believe me, a cold shower is just what the doctor orders after 2 hours of poo shovelling). Then we had lunch, and we had about an hour of free time (some of us napped, played a board game or read books). Then we went back to the orphanage just in time to see the elephants go down to the river. You had a choice of what to do while you were there. There was a small cafe you could get a beer or soft drink from, or if you wanted you could get into the river and help out washing the elephants. There were also loads of shops you could look at in the area. Then we headed into town for shopping or to use the internet cafe, then headed back to the house at your own leisure. We had dinner, then had more free time.
At the weekends, we organised trips to different sites around sri lanka (eg the beach, cultural triange, white water rafting) which was a really fantastic way to see more of the country.