Time for afterthought by Ida Vincent

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    Leaving Andavadoaka is hard for anyone who visits this unspoilt area of Africa. No matter how long you stay – 3 weeks, 6 weeks or indeed 9 months – it never feels enough. Coming back to the real world is a shock, and novelties such as hot showers and varied food soon wear off. But my time in Andavadoaka has taught me to appreciate the little things in life and realise how many good people are out there. The work carried out by Blue Ventures is amazing and hugely important not only for conserving the environment, but also for the continued livelihood of the villages.

    Some of my favourite memories include:

    • Going to the octopus no take zone opening – seeing the villagers reaping the benefits of temporary marine closures
    • Open day – the whole village cramped into Nosy Cao (the classroom), eager to learn about sustainable marine practices
    • 6am dives – heading out on a perfectly flat ocean as the sun rises above the village
    • Camping on the islands – carrying out exploratory diving for the proposed Marine Protected Areas
    • And last, but definitely not least – enjoying a lukewarm beer in the village with fellow staff and volunteers

    So I just wanted to say a huge thank you to all you locals, staff and volunteers for making my 9 months some of the best ever. Keep up the good work!

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