Maldives Rowing Volunteer
So good news people the swimming programme has started, with a grand opening complete with a banner, PA system, dignitaries (of which I was one), many speeches and warm Sprite!  After an overly successful sign up period we have 80 students enrolled, give or take a few administration issues.  Thankfully I have a squadron of trainee swimming instructors from the Maldives Swimming and Lifesaving School to assist me or it could well have been a disaster.  I would say cautiously that the first few days have been a success, the biggest difficulty is the conditions – teaching in the sea poses a few more hazards than in a nice clean 25m indoor pool.  Even though the swimming area we are using has been mainly cleared of coral there are still some carefully placed rocks to trip you up when you least expect it, often when I am trying to be my brilliant self in front of the students.  Waves are also a problem, starting the programme at high tide was not advisable, although there is an artificial reef protecting the beach at high tide the waves come over it and have a tendency to swamp the students every now and then – at least they are getting over their fears right at the beginning!

It is a massive relief that we have started the programme, it feels like I have actually achieved something now rather than wandering around the place like some giant red stranger, now I am the strange giant swimming lady.  On the personal front my tan lines are coming along a treat, there is nothing I can do about it, I am slathering on the sun block but still have a lovely t-shirt mark.  Having to cover up all the time is actually not too much of a problem, wearing shorts and t-shirt to teach is probably what I would do by choice and swimming in leggings is not too bad either, maybe wearing a vest top every now and then might be nice but all in all it is a very small price to pay.  The clash of tourists and local beliefs was really highlighted during this afternoon’s lesson as a lady paraded along the beach in a bikini much the amusement of all the students, they all found it reassuringly hilarious, luckily one of the more tactful student instructors had a word with her.  Hulhumale is a slightly strange place as it is trying to encourage tourism with small hotels and dive shops but as an inhabited island (as opposed to the resort islands where anything goes) there are strict rules on dress on the beach and general standards of dress elsewhere.  The problem is that although the majority of tourists respect the rules some are either unaware or ignore them and the locals do not know how to enforce them.  The police are uncomfortable trying to enforce them for fear of giving the island a bad name; however they have to field all the complaints from locals.  I feel the hotels should take some responsibility to explain the laws to guests on arrival but in the end as a tourist somewhere you have understand something about where you are going.

On a lighter note I joined the student instructors for their big 1kilometre swim test and managed to beat them all despite getting lost on my second run (yep definitely possible) although I suffered badly for the rest of the day, I am as (un)fit as I thought I was but I am definitely not able to do much exercise in the heat.  I also went to one of the schools for their inter house sports festival, it was brilliant, but I was gutted to have missed the Under 9’s boys musical chairs and the Balloon Burst which had taken place in the morning. I did get to see the three legged races and obstacle relay which involved one of the children getting dressed in more clothes, I felt very sorry for the boy whose socks would not fit and his team came a distant last. 

 Currently I am in my room watching possibly the worst film I have seen, which is now a close run thing with all the terrible films on the only English language channels I have, anyhow “Shark Attack 2” comes highly recommended if you enjoy, giant plastic sharks that roar like a lion when they attack and terrible, terrible acting!




05/26/2011 23:25

Once you want to do it better, you can set your effort to it , and do not think more about the fail. Be confidence to yourself.

06/04/2012 00:16

Excellent! I admire all the helpful data you've shared in your articles. I'm looking forward for more helpful articles from you. :)

Joseph Aidan


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