Tuesday, November 13, 2012

12/11/12 Cap Ternay Olympics

I will never get over the feeling of awe seeing the scenic granitic mountains when I walk out of my dorm room each morning, even if it is 6am. I will never get annoyed at the squawking of the Seychelles fruit bats outside whilst trying to sleep under my mosquito net, even if I do have to be up at 6am. Here at the Cap Terney Research Centre - ‘the base’, in the middle of nowhere amongst mangroves and mountains, in the blazing sun and the torrential rain, us GVI Volunteers are in our own lovely little world, reality so far away and so far forgotten.
So a standard day at the base involves: 6am starts, everyone pitching in with duties to help daily life run smoothly, lectures on fish, coral, dive skills, surveying etc., spectacular dives on the stunning reefs just a short distance away from the base, snorkeling and movies in our free time and just generally making close friends from countries all over the world. One hell of a ‘standard’ day! Hence the escape from reality. But we do sometimes get days that aren’t so standard for us too, and these are just as amazing and fun. One of these days was the ‘Cap Terney Olympics 2012’ - a definite highlight of many of the volunteers’ time here.
The Olympics was set up as a fundraiser for a local orphanage here in the Seychelles called The President’s Village and as part of the valuable community work that GVI gets involved in here. And what’s a fundraiser without having a laugh at the same time!?
The Olympics
Cap Terney Olympics 2012 kicked off with an Opening Ceremony the week before the main event for the ‘countries’ (teams – not all representing real countries) to introduce themselves with their costumes, torches and musical entertainment. EVERYONE made a proper effort!
None of us volunteers knew what to expect from the Olympics day, it was very well organized by the staff, full of surprises and soon became very competitive!
The day of the Olympics started with Gymnastics. Plenty of extra points for humour were awarded!
Following was the Equestrian event with challenges for both horse and jockey!

We made use of the sandy beach for the Long Jump…
….And the Shot Put just became a testosterone competition between some of the lads!
After a break for lunch we went back to make the most of the white sandy beach just on our doorstep for some Sand Art.
Then came the ultimate event. The killer. The one that everyone in each team had to participate in to get maximum points. The one that made people sweat more than they have ever sweated in their lives. And made people actually put real shoes on for the first time since arriving. It was the timed race up and down Cap Matoopa, one of the mountains that the sun sets behind each day just outside our dorms. The trail up the mountain was through palm forests, past wild pineapples and gigantic crab holes, through webs of the friendly but pretty huge palm spiders, and involved lots of clambering up over boulders and rocks. All in the heat of the midday equatorial sun. It was pretty epic. It was also fun and exhilarating and we all did so well. The superb view from the top before we raced back down of the sea of the adjacent mountains and nearby islands made it worth it. And when you know you’re doing it to fundraise for such a good cause, it’s always worth it!
Our tiresome day ended with the Olympics Closing Ceremony which consisted of the most hilarious slide-show ever of photos from the day and a big party. Definitely not a standard day.
Cap Terney Olympics 2012 was so much fun and was a great team building session for the volunteers, a good way for everyone to get to know each other, including the staff, and an overall bundle of cheer. A special thank you goes from all of us to Kate, the staff member who organized it. But the most important thing of the event was the aim – to raise money for some great kids who deserve it more than anything.

Please help by donating to The President’s Village via our Just Giving page: