Wednesday, March 11, 2009

One year on.

It has been a year since I left my expedition at GVI in the Seychelles (January-March 2008), but has it made a difference? I would say it has.
Why did I decide to join a GVI phase? To put it simply I was frustrated with where I was in life and needed to break the cycle. I have a marine biology degree, but was unable to gain employment within an area of conservation as I had no practical experience. So I decided that the best way was to volunteer, and after looking at a number of organisations decided that GVI was the one for me.
What did I gain from GVI? Loads, but two things mainly, or maybe three, the first, and the main reason I decided to join, I gained a huge amount of practical experience, more than I thought I would. It certainly improved my skills as a dive master and greatly expanded my knowledge base. Secondly I gain some amazing mates, several of whom I now count amongst my best. And thirdly I learned something about myself, I took another step along that road called life, and found that I could!
What did it lead to? Well for me it has lead to a dream job! I now work for an NGO in the Seychelles, involved with all aspects of conservation, from diving and monitoring the coral and fish life around a number of different islands, all the way through to habitat restoration and none native species eradication to recreate a diverse eco-systems that the native species of the Seychelles can enjoy and hopefully to remove them from the endangered species list.
Would I recommend it? I most certainly would, even if all you are after is a break from the monotonous 9-5 office job, or one of the stops on a gap year round the world, it is an experience to not only learn something about the natural world, but it is also an amazing place to be able to learn something more about yourself.