Maldives Rowing Volunteer
So I am here in the Maldives, firstly I am struggling to find internet (what I mean is I do not have wifi in my room) so I cannot update everything as much as I like, but you will be pleased to know that I am keeping a diary so I won’t forget a thing and you can relive every minute of every day with me! Actually that will bore me as much as you so I won’t too much – please do let me know if I bore you too much.  I am currently waiting for my guardian, waiting is my new favourite past time, or at least it ought to be as I spend a lot of time doing it.

Luckily the whole Hulhumale committee were there at the airport to greet me on my arrival, so my first fear was laid to rest, my accommodation was amazing, a hotel on the beach, with breakfast, air con and internet in my room.  I have now moved to my new accommodation in a less salubrious area of the island, which is mainly a building site but everything is so close it is all ok, I hope!

Back to the reason I am here – swimming (the rowing will come when the boats arrive), I have visited Lale international school and gave a presentation that was not potentially my best effort, mainly due to spending the morning praying to the porcelain god of foreign food.  However many of the children seemed really keen and excited which is always a good start.  So now I am really excited about getting going – the logistics are still being worked out but The Maldives School of Swimming and Lifesaving based in Male are lending us all the equipment we need, so I will not have to improvise too much yet!  The biggest problem is actually location which you wouldn’t think on an island surrounded by crystal clear warm water.  Hulhumale is an artificial island built to create a suburb of the over populated capital island Male, so the waterfront is artificial, the beach is protected from the waves by a shallow lagoon with a rock and coral floor – not ideal at all.  There is a swimming area cut into the coral however I don’t fancy my chance at teaching non swimmers in water over two metres deep.  I think I have found an area suitable but I will let you know!

So swimming begins next week – with children from both schools on the island, luckily one of the volunteer teachers has offered to help out as I think I may be oversubscribed!

Yesterday was a brilliant day, being a Friday everyone has the day off (starting the week on a Sunday is something I may struggle to get my head around), Umar , the Maldivian behind the whole programme, took me out on his boat with his family to a lagoon to spend the day snorkelling and fishing.  I was rubbish at fishing; I think there may be fewer things more frustrating than not catching any fish when you can see thousands of them in the sea.  The fish underwater were amazing – if I had internet I would be able to tell you all the fish I saw but I don’t so I won’t!  I did take some very poor photos of the fish though; my underwater camera skills need work.  The most exciting thing, which I did not get a picture of, was the dolphins, many, many dolphins whilst we were travelling out to the lagoon.  All in all a great day – the only downside was my burnt knees and shins!

So hopefully the next time I write this the swimming programme will have begun and I will have watched every film that is on rotation on the film channels here.


More photos here

Jo Cook
04/03/2011 09:29

Yey! I'm pleased you're there ok, I can now live on the Maldives vicariously through you! How did the second leg of the flight go? Did you get half a seat? You can't leave me hanging like this! xxxx

04/05/2011 03:37

Oh sorry for the inconsistent blog - I write them on my laptop then have to upload them so I cannot guarantee that I will follow a story through to its conclusion! The second half of the flight was busier but I still had two seats as the nice man next to me moved up one. He is the HR manager for Hyatt Hotels in the Middle East and Ocean - so I need to get in touch with him to visit the resort they are opening next week here! I really wanted to drink lots of wine on the flight to Male (capital of the Baldies) but I thought it would not be best, a in a plane full of Muslims and b at 9am in the morning! So I did resist, am not missing alcohol or flashing my body, particularly wearing swimsuits as I would be burnt to a crisp right now! I hope that answers all your questions and any that you might not of ever thought of!


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