I belong to Pakistan where I live in a big city, Lahore, where you can’t see the wonders of nature and wildlife. Since my childhood I was deeply attached to nature and wildlife. Being a shy guy most of my time I spend in my home with my plants and pets. They are very close to my heart. I always wanted to work for wildlife and the environment, but never had a chance. I studied Journalism and Sociology, which doesn’t connect me with my passion and dreams. But I believe if passion is true you can achieve everything. So my Life took a new turn when I applied for this project. Most of the volunteers are from Europe. I asked the project leader Robin Snape before applying and he suggested I give it a try. In the beginning of 2010 I got email from Robin. He asked will I be free in summer. After reading this I was jumping.
This happiness brought worries. How was I going to arrange money? I was in need of 2 hundred thousand rupees! But God sent a miracle. My cousin agreed to lend me some of the money and for the rest I had to sell my most precious thing, my motorbike. It was so hard. There was only one thing in my mind I have to make it. There were so many hurdles in my way to get North Cyprus money, visa and biggest problem was how to send Robin my contribution to the project? It took weeks to figure it out. But in the end I was finally ready to fly.
The hardest thing was to leave my mother. I had not been away from my mother for a single day in the past 20 years. But that’s life and I left home and travelled to another big city called Karachi where I took the long journey to Isatanbul. I was so happy to see Istanbul airport and then travel onwards to Ercan. After a number of hours dealing with visa issues, I took a long breath in the fresh air of North Cyprus. I hadn’t seen the Sea in my whole life so it was mind blowing.
When I arrived there was just me and 3 more people. In the beginning I was terribly home sick and I shed a thousand tears on the roof top of Goatshed. The worst thing was that I wasn’t able to call my mother for 5 days. When I finally talked to my mother it was a great relief. The first 3 weeks were hardest weeks of my life. But now I am getting to know everyone.
Seeing turtles and working with them makes me feel like I am living in the National Geographic Channel. Everything is amazing. This project is very important and special to me. I know in the end its going to open new door in my destiny. I love the struggle of female turtles how much effort they put to give birth to new life. They spend hours and hours to secure their hatchlings. Its amazing and makes me realize the importance of struggle. Now the Goat Shed is full of people. But its good. We have so many differences because I came from another part of the world. Many of their views and ideas are different to mine but its good because I am learning so many things from them. Everyday is new lesson here. When I am done with this project I hope I’ll have changed a lot. The turtles are now special part of my life and always will be. I hope my journey will go well. I am going to see the Karpas soon. So I can see other sides of North Cyprus.