Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Time flies by.

Time is flying here, we are into the third week already and so much has happened. Several volunteers completed their Emergency First Response (EFR) course and exam this week, all demonstrated not only competence but also patience and sense of humour (particularly when dealing with the over enthusiastic staff members who ‘acted’ as victims in some of the emergency scenario.

There have been a couple of birthdays on Base since the start of phase, Jess, Rach and Caroline, all of who received scrumptious birthday cakes baked by Kei and Hazel. Kei, who is a qualified chef, has been informally appointed camp cook, with many of us running ideas for meals by her and asking her for tips! She has also been teaching other volunteers how to make bread properly…the standard of which has certainly improved (and the density drastically reduced!) since Kei arrived!

The studying frenzy of last week has continued into this week spurred on by impending fish and coral written exams. Five of the volunteers passed their exams on their first attempt, Glen, Kei and Eve for coral and Caroline for fish. There were also a few very ‘close shaves’ with scores above 85%...and a number of not-so-close-shaves. Those that didn’t pass first time sat a second test on Wednesday and several more passed. Rodney, Keith, Sian, Geoff, Nicky and Haley passed their fish test, Haley achieving a fantastic 100%, and Carl Emily and Bex passed their coral test. Those who didn’t pass all improved on their last scores, so it’s looking hopeful that most will pass by the end of the week.

We have seen a number of turtles this week as the weekly turtle monitoring dives for MCSS are continuing this phase. Only 2 turtles were seen in week one, despite 10 buddy pairs scouring the bay for 45mins, but this week 5 turtles showed themselves, and some good data has been collected on their activities and behaviour.

Last weekend was everyone’s first “timeout” since the phase began. This was celebrated by some with a weekend in Beau vallon hotels and Saturday diving at Corsaire Reef while others chose an induction into the glittering world of Mahé nightlife and enjoyed (or suffered) its many consequences. No doubt there will be more of the same this weekend!