Monday, September 12, 2011

09/09/11 Goodbye from Curieuse

So the 10 weeks is finally up and it’s the end of phase 113 on Curieuse. We thought (and hoped) it would never end...

The last two and a half months have been, for every volunteer, an incredible insight into life in a different world. Even the 5 weekers have gained life skills and experience in a truly magnificent place. Thousands of years of geological change and isolation have left these unique islands of one of the world’s most pristine locations on earth. Us volunteers, all 18, that have come and gone have had the fortune to participate in protecting the marine enviornment surronding them.

There has been a lot of laughs, a lot of love, a lot of amazing friendships formed and some genuinely wonderful experiences! The highlights, although very hard to sum up, include shark, dolphin and turtle sightings, beach living, meeting new people, mounting hiking and collecting research to protected the marine environment. It is humbling to say that our presense here has in some small way helped the marine world in the Indian Ocean remain a beautiful pleace for other generations to enjoy.

The last week has been winding down from our phase. Although the recent in-water activitiy ban has been a disappointment, morale has maintained at an all-time high. It was a great feeling to return here from Cap Ternay, back home to our island haven, to finish off base jobs and admire Willem’s beloved hole he had dug in our absense. Joe and Jax had devised ‘awards’ for all of us at the end of phase, and the winners are... Dan: Manliness Award, April: Marine Queen, Jax: Best Rasta Mama, Ant: Best Newcomer, Willem: Badass Scholar, Charlie: The Unicorn Award, Freddie: Einstein Award, Tom: Secret Geek, Cedric: Swiss Chef, Daniel: Hardest Worker, Stina: Best Bread Maker, Hanna: Quiet Achiever, Hendrik: New Look Demolisher, Izzy: Sweetest Smiler, Mervi: Mama Award and Joe: Gossip Girl XOXO.

It is fair to say during our 5 or 10 weeks here, there has been many things we never expected to get excited over and many more things we didn’t expected to enjoy more and begin to take for granted. To name them all would take up pages and pages of paper and use most of the ink in Curieuse’s pens, so we’ll just name a few!

Things we never expected to get excited over on arriving at Curieuse

· Seeing a flushing toilet

· Cheese

· New kitchen utencils

· The prospect of a sink or bathroom

· Seeing a mirror

· Hot water

· Re-filled tuck box

· Seeing spices other than curry powder, pepper and salt

· Washing machines

· An oven that heats to over 100°

· Packaged bread

· Butter

· Breakfast other than Porridge

Things we never expected to enjoy that we have now taken for granted:

· Silence

· Continuous laughter, even when there there isn’t a lot to laugh about

· Beach walks

· Never-ending banter

· Sounds of the ocean

· Being constantly content with living so simply

· Sitting together around the dinner table together

· Feeling like one big family

3 months ago Curieuse was just the fifth largest island out of the 115 islands of the Seychelles consists of... Now its our home and our family. And on that note, a big thank you to all of the staff and volunteers who have made these last few months an incredible time and journey for all us. If you are reading this with a expedition to Curieuse in the pipeline or are thinking of signing up for one... Make the most of every opportunity you get!

So with that having been said, it is time to say goodbye from phase 113 for the last time.

With love from Curieuse...