Thursday, November 18, 2010

16/11/10 Community Work

Getting to know the local community is an important part of all GVI projects, and one way we get involved and give back in the Seychelles is weekly lessons for students from the International School, a grade school in Victoria. On Wednesday six volunteers met Miss Miranda’s class on the beach in Port Launay for a lesson on this week’s topic: Turtles. The students arrived with clip boards, colored pencils, and big, excited smiles on their faces.
Students split into three groups and learned about one of the turtles that visit the Seychelles: Hawksbill, Green and Leatherback. The students listened carefully and filled in their worksheets as volunteers shared information with them. Each group made a life-sized model of their turtle in the sand (the one with a little human underneath a sand shell was slightly less scientifically accurate… but particularly cute) and shared facts about their turtle species with the rest of the class. “Hawksbill and Green turtles nest in the Sechelles.” “Leatherbacks are the second deepest diving air breathing animals; their shells are soft because they dive so deep that their bodies compress under the atmospheric pressure.” Then the kids made tracks in the sand to look like either Hawksbill (alternating flipper marks) or Green turtles (side by side flipper marks) since their tracks are identifying features of the turtles.
The lesson concluded with a game of “Hatchlings and Crabs” where the “turtles” ran across the beach and tried not to get tagged by “crabs” who were scurrying along on all fours.
The kids and volunteers shared a fun day at the beach and can’t wait for next week’s lesson about sharks.