Maldives Rowing Volunteer
 
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Right as I haven’t kept you all up to date with events as we went along the story of this incredible day is coming to you in instalments – it worked for Charles Dickens so I’m sure it will work for me....

November the 4th was the date of this auspicious event. We had a few wobbles in the week leading up to it - the date and location being changed on a daily basis. Finally, with a bit of a stress from me alternative suggestions were stopped on Wednesday morning at 1100. The area by the swimming track was chosen because we could row the boats there, it offered great viewing for the spectators and a large open ocean if steering should go awry!  Great, we now had one and a half days to pretty much get everything in place. 

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A whirlwind of activity ensued – sponsors were found, Dhiraagu (one of the two telecommunication companies in the Maldives), who leapt into overdrive to get all the medals, trophies and prizes down from Male and ready for 1600 on Friday – oh and did I mention that Thursday turned out to be a public holiday!! Invitations and certificates were printed, a meeting with all the schools squeezed between prayers and Muhibbuddins School prize giving, the 5 hours of which I sadly missed as I had a meeting with MNDF in Feydhoo. We needed to see if we could erect some shade on the spit of land that jutted out into the sea. Oh and lay a buoyed course at the site.... Shade was not possible with 2000 soldiers sleeping under tents in Gan and any other tenty material being used to keep rain off vital building works there was none to spare for the rowing event. However, I was promised six guys and some bricks would be on site at 10 SHARP on Thursday morning to set the course out. I promised I would also be there SHARP with yellow oil drums (acting as floats), my assistant coaches and hundreds of meters of rope – oh and a measuring tape as none of us had any idea how long the course was going to be...... 

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Guin and Becs also turned up in the midst of this furore they were met by the police, given refreshments and then via a small detour to the wrong guest house dropped off at Ocean Lead (more popularly known as Scoop house) my new abode until the SAARC summit is over. My previous residence has undergone a full on face and body lift and been transformed into ‘State House’ – it looks amazing! In fact most of the Atoll has undergone a full on transformation (there should be a warning ‘no epileptics allowed out after dark’ the quantity of flashing lights festooning offices, shops and any static structure is truly incredible). 

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Thursday dawned and we were on the water at 630 giving the students their final practices at getting up to the start line in single file and turning in order ready to race. Blades were painted (thank god it’s hot and sunny here) and all the stickers Guin had bought with her were attached to the four boats – they looked ‘well smart’! After going to the swim track at 10 and discovering we had a perfect 200m to race over I left the MNDF equipped with snorkels and a very nice inflatable rib (would look great as a coach boat) and headed to the office to round up the rest of the equipment and see what could be done about shade. 6pm Thursday evening and we finally found something – a metal  frame that could be draped in tarpaulin (tharuphali in Divehi). The police moved it from the field in front of the youth centre for us. So by 8pm 100 chairs, 3 megaphones, umbrellas, tent, flags, podium (took the day to track down) tables and a very swish notice board were all under one roof loaded into the pick up truck ready to be taken to the course at 0530 the following morning. Start lists were printed and tshirts, stickers and caps from the sponsors had been delivered. I fell into bed at midnight secure in the knowledge I could do no more and I only had 4 hours sleep ahead of me.....

 


nice post

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01/27/2012 14:46

Nice one info, thx

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03/25/2012 21:41

will return shortly

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07/16/2012 01:27

THX for info

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