Wish you were here?-Report from the site doctor

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    It has been 2 months now since I arrived on site and started my new role as the expedition medic- or “Raduku” as the Malagasy folks call me, but there isn’t a day that goes by without my having to remind myself at some point how lucky I am to be here.

    The scenery is stunning, and I wake up every day to the gentle sound of waves lapping on the shore and the sound of goats getting up to mischief under my cabin. Before or after breakfast we dive, and mealtimes are generally spent discussing the “viz,” what new discoveries have been made to science and always guaranteed some air space is the weather!

    The climate here is generally described as “hot,” “very hot” or just “too darn hot” The sea is usually said to be “calm” “excellent for diving” and “great for swimming,” the afternoon breeze both “welcome” and “refreshing.”

    When there’s spare time its great to spend it in your hammock learning all about algae, corals and fishes, this “study time” is required to pass all the exams (computer and in-water) prior to conducting any science at sea. So once the exams are out of the way this “hammock time” once again becomes your own, and then its up to you to choose how to spend it. Some of my favourite past times have included-relaxing and doing absolutely nothing just staring out to sea, reading a novel, going for a dip in the turquoise waters, playing with the Vezo children, preparing my English lesson or doing some octopus data entry (Whoopee!)

    Today I shall be taking a walk into the village where I can buy some nuts for the staff meeting making sure that I stop along the way to play with the children on the beach. Maybe I will go beyond the village up to the Northern beaches where the foundations are being prepared to build the Eco lodge and see how our project is coming along.

    It is very interesting knowing that you are playing a part in the day to day activities that contribute to the development of a Marine Protected Area and it is exciting to see how the long term vision for environmental tourism in this area is being developed. I am proud to say that I am a part of it- I highly recommend that you are too.

    Yvette (Medical Officer)