17 August 2011

Dolphins of Greece, volunteers 14-21 July

This trip has exceeded my expectations in every way! Joan and Ioannis are a terrific team to work with. Joan is serious and deeply passionate about his research and I cannot help but feel the same enthusiasm. He is a great teacher, all the while quick to smile and keeping a sense of humor about him. I have valued our frequent conversations about life in general – politics, economics, culture, movies, people – as much as I have enjoyed our conversations about cetacean behavior.  Ioannis is the perfect counter-part, an intelligent, even-keeled young man with impeccable integrity.  I will return from this trip far “richer” than when I started thanks to the two of them.  This trip has also succeeded in changing my behavior now that I have learned so much about the global threats to fisheries worldwide, and dolphins in particular. Kudos to you both!  I hope to see you again.

Doug (USA)


This trip has definitely been a life changing experience. Coming here I had no idea what to expect, besides that I would see dolphins and also do some work. I fell in love with this program. Seeing the dolphins, of course, was amazing, but I loved the lectures that Joan gave us. I loved learning about the dolphins, other sea mammals, and also the problems that the Amvrakikos Gulf faces. I had no idea that there was so many problems with it. This whole program has made me more aware of the problems that the ocean faces. Besides everything that I have learned about the dolphins and the gulf, I have also thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the people that I have been working with. Joan and Ioannis make a great team and are great to work with. They are both very passionate about what they do and that definitely inspires me. I loved hearing about the different cultures of each of us and also experiencing one. I hope that I can come to Vonitsa, Greece again and partake in this amazing endeavour, but if not, it was an experience that I will never forget.

Lauren (USA)


“Dolphins of Greece” was an amazing and incredible experience but also very intense. Intense not only because of all the very interesting knowledge that Joan and Gionnis instilled us but because of the emotions felt when seeing and working with dolphins. I was at first speechless when seeing the dolphins and throughout the week when Joan was telling us about his experience with them and all the issues that they face in the Gulf and around the world in general, I realised it was time for people to react and spread the word all around…At least I will for sure spread the word all around me and hopefully it will bring more volunteers to that unbelievable project. This experience was also a great opportunity to meet people of different countries, cultures and share our opinions on different aspects of life,and Joan, Ioannis and the other volunteers are the perfect example for it. And I can say that I have never laughed so much in my life! I hope this project will go on as long as possible because the dolphins need us!

Margaux (France)


Breathtaking, exhilarating, endearing, extremely educational, heartfelt and probably the best thing Greece has to offer!  Vonitsa is so beautiful and quaint.  The team was awesome and fun.  The friendships that were developed here will always have a special bonding that occurred due to this enchanting environment and sharing in witnessing the magnificence of the dolphins.  These beautiful animals of the sea can only make your heart and soul soar with delight.  Joan and Ioannis are such compassionate men who truly are dedicated to the welfare of the ocean and all its inhabitants.  Their dedication is to be admired and applauded.  It is an experience and education that I will never forget and hope to continue to pass on this knowledge through my blog and anyone and everyone who will listen to me!

Jan (USA)

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