Friday, September 4, 2009

The last week……

The Regatta held last weekend in Beau Vallon was a huge success and enjoyed by everyone. The chance to raise money for charities really spurred everyone’s creative streaks. The biggest money earner was the sponge throwing game which attracted huge crowds and a lot of laughter. We all took turns being hit by wet sponges as we knew it was for a good cause. Raph, Dunc, Rich and Tom even completed a 10km sponsored run which was not an easy feat considering the mountainous roads and the temperature.

The last survey dives were successfully completed and the data entry finalised. It seems strange that only a few weeks ago we were struggling to tell the difference between the Emperors and the Snappers and juggling the dives holding tapes, SMB’s and underwater slates. We also had time to do a couple of fun dives with one another.

The 10 week BBQ and the famous local spirit Bakka lived up to its reputation. The food was amazing – Everest, the head chef was a local man who works for SCMRT – GVI’s main partner here in the Seychelles - he even shared some insights into the secrets of Creole cooking as we all lent a hand. We partied together into the early hours under a starry sky and a full moon.

The last evening was spent listening to Linds and Mario presented the information regarding the surveys that we had completed and what happens next with the data. This was followed by a ceremony in which we all received certificates of achievement for our accomplishments. A slide show prepared by Marta with photos from everyone over the last 10 weeks was then beamed onto the make shift screen outside. Everyone took a copy to take away with them.

The last hours…There is a whole new mood around base this morning as everyone packs the final items into their bags ready for the early departure. There’s a sadness as we know the goodbyes are approaching and will be said to a group of amazing new found friends that have shared so many experiences and learnt so much with and from one another. There’s also the anticipation about returning home. We will soon be walking in shoes instead of barefoot, spending time in traffic jams instead of with one another, buying ready made meals instead of using locally produced and fresh food to prepare meals for one other. Some of us are returning to study, some to work, some to re- evaluate what they will do next and some are heading off to other countries to continue with their travels. On the plus side we are all looking forward to hot showers and the convenience of a washing machine. We will all see either family of friends in the next few days and we will all be talking about our magical time spent at Cap Ternay and off course Curieuse.

We count ourselves lucky to have shared something special, the bonds, the trust and the teams that have evolved have all taught us that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and it is even easier to achieve what you may think is not possible if you have the right people around you to help. Reach for the moon, if you miss at least you will end up amongst the stars….