Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hello Chickens, Goodbye Sue, Matt, Ange and Ross

Well, it has now been 5 weeks since we arrived on Curieuse Island to begin our new life as coral researchers. All of the volunteers agree that this has been the fastest 5 weeks we have ever experienced! Last weekend was spent on Mahe, getting to know our fellow volunteers based at Cap Ternay, and experiencing some local culture. After a heady few nights, we arrived back at Curieuse for a week of both finales and new beginnings.

We have learnt about sea cucumbers and other invertebrates, and ‘invert belts’ will now be part of regular surveys for the continuing volunteers. One day we returned to camp to discover two new additions to our group – two baby chickens donated by Mama are now helping us eat our leftovers (when there are any) and will hopefully provide us with fresh eggs in the near future.

On a sadder note, the five-weekers, Sue, Matt and Ange, have completed their final coral surveying and are now getting ready to return home. Ross will be moving Mahe, which will leave only Steph, Diana and Seth remaining on Curieuse to provide support to the next group of 5-weekers. A farewell party with amazing food (homemade chips and fried fish with garlic sauce, yum) has helped us adjust to pending changes, and as you would expect, we woke refreshed and ready for the 5-week camp clean.

Day by day, the beach has been changing and all of us are feeling inspired to value the important things in life. In the last 24 hours, the wind and waves have become stronger, perhaps part of the ‘Indian Ocean effect’. The beach will continue to change, and we will all continue to be shaped by this wonderful experience.