My second night the man in charge of the volunteers (Charith Abeynayake) tried to kiss me and followed me into my room as I fled, I had to push him out of my doorstep. The following day he accused me of lying. After this incident he acted really hostile towards me.
I paid a lot of money and I was sad to see that none of it went to the orphanage, but for accomodation and Chariths pocket.
He also went through my Facebook page, and obviously translated things I wrote to my friends in my native tounge, since it's a language he does not speak, and ordered me to erase or change things that I wrote to my friends. He also told me not to talk to visitors at the orphanage.
Let me go through the things he claims that you get to do:
- Clean enclosures: Yes.
- Bathing elephants: No, you get to watch them from a restaurant with the other tourists, which frankly became a bit boring after a week. To actually bathe an elephant he took you to a private owned elephant at another part of the village and you had to pay the owner.
- Perform basic daily health check: No, none whatsoever.
- Feed the elephants: No. If you wanted to you had to bribe the mahuts and you got to give them one bottle at bottle feeding time with other tourists.
- Harvesting food from jungle: No. Since Charith was hostile towards me he refused to let me do this since he accused me of being fat, lazy and weak (I am in good shape and work out at least four days a week).
- Keep site clean and tidy: Other than cleaning stables for about two hours a day no.
- Teaching english for kids: No.
- Attend lecture series about elephants: No.
He also claims to be there for you 24/7 but he was often drunk at night and overslept.
I would never in my life recommend this to anyone since it's really unsafe when the man supposed to take care of you and keep you safe does the complete opposite.