Category: Volunteer Stories

Straight from the (sea)horse’s mouth… Check out these stories from our expedition volunteers in Madagascar and Belize!

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My visit to the Safidy programme in Andavadoaka

by Samantha Cockburn, Medical Elective with Safidy, Madagascar Three years ago I received an email from my medical school advertising a lecture aimed at local GPs entitled ‘Is Sex Going To Kill Us?’ given by Professor John Guillebaud, Emeritus Professor...

/ Mar 25, 2013
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Feeling at home in Belize

By Pam Viele, BV volunteer, Belize The Blue Ventures homestay in the quaint fishing village of Sarteneja was the perfect way to experience the culture of this lovely spot beyond the perspective of a tourist. Like most of the volunteers,...

/ Mar 7, 2013

Reflections from a Belizean fishing village

by Daniel le Roux, BV Volunteer, Belize It seems to me that people usually start these sorts of things with a cliché: “Sarteneja was everything I imagined it would be”, or “I instantly felt at home in Sarteneja”. I hate...

/ Feb 9, 2013
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The sweet taste of success in Saturday School

by Marzia Garin, former Education and Youth Coordinator, Madagascar In mid-November, the children at Saturday School had a very special guest: the Swiss NGO ADES (The Association for the Development of Solar Energy). ADES travelled down to Andavadoaka to teach...

/ Feb 7, 2013
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Have you ever encountered a live sea cucumber?

by Taylor Mayol, Communications and Programme Development Officer, Madagascar I hadn’t either until just a few months ago. I knew I was in for a wild ride during my fellowship after I dove into a crystal clear turquoise bay in...

/ Feb 1, 2013
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Culling me softly…

by Hayley McKenzie, Blue Ventures volunteer, Belize The divers hunt in a pack, eyes peeled for the distinctive feathery spines peeking out from behind a rock, huddled into the reef or perched on top of a spur. On sighting a...

/ Nov 8, 2012
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Diving deep in Belize

by Jen Chapman, Country Coordinator, Belize The queen conch (Strombus gigas) fishery in Belize is valued at approximately US$ 3,000,000  per year and engages over 3,000 licensed fishermen nationally. Despite non-destructive fishing methods (free-divers collect conch off the seafloor by...

/ Oct 15, 2012
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VIP expeditions

by Thomas Forwood, volunteer, Belize Generally speaking, life at Bacalar Chico Dive Camp (BCDC) is routine. You get up at 5am, breakfast is at 8am and lunch is at 1pm. In between is diving, marshalling duties and other enjoyable responsibilities,...

/ Oct 9, 2012
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A day in the life…

by Kirsty Rankin, BV volunteer, Madagascar Waking up to the relentless crash of breaking waves on halfmoon beach, I groan, turn over, but just before I close my eyes to the temptation of continued slumber I catch the dim glow...

/ Aug 17, 2012
The (not so) Rum Diaries

The (not so) rum diaries: life in Belize

by Anders Hartmann, BV volunteer, Belize After 1 week at Bacalar Chico Dive Camp (BCDC) we have now learned the routines and the focus has moved towards surveys and passing the fish and benthic tests, both on computer and in...

/ Jul 25, 2012
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The end isn’t near, it’s here!

by Chris Miller, BV volunteer, Belize We are now in our last week at Bacalar Chico and we are all so sad that our time here is nearly over. Over the past few weeks we have had an amazing time...

/ Jul 10, 2012
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Paradise lost: my final few days in Belize

by Colin Engel, Blue Ventures volunteer, Belize Monday 7 May This is the day we pack up camp and leave. The first boat took the early birds back at dawn to Sarteneja, leaving half of us some further hours to...

/ May 25, 2012
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Bobbing along on the bottom of the beautiful briny sea….

by Caroline De Willebois, Blue Ventures volunteer, Madagascar Descending into the cool turquoise water below, I am overcome with that well-known sense of utter peace that accompanies the stillness and weightlessness of being underwater. After a few days of not...

/ May 14, 2012
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Setting up and diving down

by Chris Miller, Blue Ventures volunteer, Belize We are two weeks into our expedition here in Belize and so far have already experienced one of the best celebrations in Sarteneja – the Easter Regatta. To celebrate the regatta we had...

/ Apr 18, 2012
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Great expectations: some thoughts from some of our volunteers

by Cara MacDonald, Blue Ventures volunteer, Madagascar The two weeks I have been volunteering in Andavadoaka have flown by and we have managed to do so much already! In our first couple of days we traveled via pirogue to Lamboara....

/ Mar 27, 2012