This past week saw the arrival of an unwelcome guest in the form of gale force winds that whipped the seas into a bit of a frenzy and turned the underwater world into pea soup. Not to be discouraged, the volunteers spent an hour getting ready on Saturday morning and braved a journey on the high seas to reach a nearby reef. The divers plunged into wild conditions and many couldn’t help but laugh as they descended into the foggy surroundings. The more sensible members of the group quickly realised that fish surveys were out of the question and returned to the boat. Some of the more optimistic/stubborn members of the group lasted 15 minutes and managed to spot a few fish but it wasn’t long before everyone was back in the boat laughing at their brief experiences underwater.
The wind stayed for a couple of days so diving was postponed. Frustration was converted into creative energy as planning began for a huge day of events with the village. A major beach clean is planned for next weekend that will involve competitions, music and the banner to end all banners to encourage the local community to get involved.
Braving the high seas was nothing compared to courage shown by volunteers when it came time for this semesters first English classes. Children aren’t scary. Unless there are 100 of them. After the initial shock of 100 youngsters, overflowing with energy, pouring out into the school yard to meet us, everyone quickly got into the swing of things and had a blast. Being teased about my Australian accent by a 10 year old Malagasy kid was certainly a priceless moment. The kids had a great time and their enthusiasm was infectious. Songs were sung, dances were danced and laughter racked the classrooms.
Today marked a change in the wind, and so hopes have been raised that tomorrow, divers will be back in the water. Touch wood.