Maldives Rowing Volunteer
 
Hello, sorry for the radio silence of late, I was waiting for Tash to finish her epic blog posts about the brilliant regatta held down in Addu.  I was most impressed when the television came on whilst I was having dinner and there was Tash, on the news.  I was very impressed - all the photos have made me very jealous - rowing is on it's way to Hulhumale though!
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Guin is somewhere in there!
Since my last post, we have had a visit from Guin to the swimming group, which was super popular, of course the children had no idea who she was but any visitor is an excuse to fight each other in the water and therefore worth turning up for!  Anyhow it was great for Guin to see what I have been talking about all these months and meet all the people I rabbit on about on skype.  I was hoping the visit would breathe new life into the boathouse project, and it is looking like I was not hoping in vain.  The new hotel being constructed alongside the boathouse has provided a great opportunity to get even finished to a high standard, utilising all their manpower and tools.  I am ready willing and able, but I would not want a boathouse finished by me, my building skills are not up to much if anything.

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In the past three weeks we have been running holiday swimming lessons as all the children are on school holidays, many have gone back to their islands (no one is actually from Hulhumale, much like London) so those that remain are very bored and have been swimming everyday.  I have loved teaching this group, they are mainly the younger children many of who cannot swim and it has been brillant fun, culminating with our snorkelling lessons in which we saw a sea snake, a lion fish, a bat fish, and some other reef fish and caught quite a few bottle fish (a very common fish here that looks a lot like an empty plastic bottle floating in the sea, they are harmless to humans and if seen in the sea should be removed!). Thanks to IntoScuba for lending us the children's masks and snorkels - it was a massive success, we had mothers and grandfathers borrowing the masks to have their first try at snorkelling.

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Swimming lessons have now finished on Hulhumale until the return of a coach in the new year (identity yet to be revealed), sad times.  We finished with a minimum fuss certificate ceremony, in which I did almost choke up having to say goodbye to everyone.  The parents and children on Hulhumale have been so supportive and it made me a touch emotional.  I was swiftly brought back to earth having been given a card made by a student describing me as having a smile like a dolphin and being as white a vampire.  I will write up the whole poem soon as it is brilliant! I am utterly convinced that the swimming lessons need to carry on next year, the demand is growing, we just need to work out how to get a coach on the island and get rowing kicked off and I will be one happy little bunny - until that time I still have a lot of work to do, definitely not on holiday yet.

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Another reason for the quiet has been the arrival of Mr and Mrs Loveridge, my brilliant parents. They have finally left South Asia, after a month here, I only saw them for five days, but had a great time especially introducing my father to the brilliant underwater world of the Maldives - he was lucky enough to see a HUGE manta on his last dive here, literally massive.  Sad to see them go this morning but not too sad as I will be seeing them in six days back at Gatwick!

So as my time in the Maldives is drawing to a close, although I am hopefully on a return in January, I am getting a bit sad and determined to take in everything, particularly the heat before I head off to the UK, my bag will be very light as none of my clothes here are suitable for British winter and I don't possess a pair of proper shoes.  However I very excited about coming home to see friends and family and having a longed for meal with red meat and no chilli complete with a glass of wine, ahhhhhh................


PS I would just like to mention that if you are looking for all the pictures from the swimming programme they can be found on another site Hulhumale Swimming Programme

 


BG Thomas from Hulhumale.
01/16/2012 20:43

I am an adult who needs swimming lessons. Please give me the contact details of your replacement. I spoke to you once on your way to your swimming class. BG

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01/27/2012 13:25

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THX for info

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03/23/2012 01:13

Thank you for details

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05/09/2012 10:17

THX for info

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