ED Magedson – Founder
operation wallaceaNationwide United Kingdom
Operation Wallacea OP WALL Indonesia Hoga Island Marine research volunteer expedition total FAIL!!!!!! essex Nationwide
Attention all dissertation students and research assistants,
Before booking an expedition to Hoga Island with Operation Wallacea please read the following.
3500 pounds will buy you a family home and three scooters in Indonesia.
3500 pounds through opwall will buy you 3months shared accomodation in a condemable shack with a mosquito net that has holes you can put your fist through supposedly of (WHO) quality, of which about $300 which will actually go to the owner of the house who may or may not steal anything not bolted down. 3 months of sometimes tuna which is the regions most unsustainable fish caught in the most unsustainable fashion, Some rice and stale bread rolls. Some diving that is so regimented that the n**i's would of thought it over zealous.
I will start with the research station review.
Having been to an actual marine research station before I had high hopes for this trip. What I found was a series of shacks that were being passed of as the most productive research station in Indonesia. There must be no other research stations in Indonesia! Labs were non existent actual marine bioligists were also non existent. Dissertation students were forced to be mentored by Phd students who treated you as more of an annoyance. Some of the project supervisors were geoligists!
The diving was the most painful experience of the trip.
The dive manager liked to treat everyone like fools even though some of the assistants had spent hundreds more hours in the water and thousands of pounds to be there. He often threatened people with comments like" do that again and you will be out of the water.
Dive profiles are strictly 18m for 50minutes with a five metre five minute safety stop maximum two dives a day!!. No night diving, Go out side this profile and you will be disciplined. Dive boats are unstable and dangerous with barely the proper safety devices. Dive masters will become furious if your safety stop is at 5.2m instead of 5.0. They will swim over your transects and be oblivious. If you leave your tank standing at any time you will be fined and the fine will be used in a non transparent manner. The sites are almost destroyed from the diving that is being conducted there. Coral cover is minimal compared to othe sites with less diving occuring on them. The waters are highly polluted with plastics with the majority coming from the research station as they have no waste management system.
You will not be allowed in the water at anytime with out a wetsuit on. You will be told quite often that you are not allowed to snorkel. The dive staff are arrogant and immensely rude.
Everything they offer to sell on the island is at a hyper inflated price which is poor from a not for profit organisation. Dive courses are more expensive than if being done at your local dive store.
Your accomodation is rarely cleaned and you will go the entire three months with out your sheets being changed. Mosquito nets are in poor condition the huts may have holes in the floors and massive spiders within. Your shower bucket will be filled with stagnate water and everyone will develop major ear infections from bathing. The meal preparation area smells like a latrine and you will lose weight because your appetite will be absent from week 3 onwards.
All this from a company that spruiks itself as a conservation based outfit. All I saw was ripping us, the Indonesians and the enviroment OFF. Please boycott this company as it does more harm than good for this impoverished region. Please comment with your own experiences to help others make a balanced decision about their education!!
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/24/2013 08:01 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/operation-wallacea/nationwide/Operation-Wallacea-OP-WALL-Indonesia-Hoga-Island-Marine-research-volunteer-expedition-1087099. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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