From our outgoing expedition manager, Ruth Rosselson
It’s the end of our June expedition, and the end of my time here as Expedition Manager. I’ve had a fantastic year but it’s definitely time to say goodbye to Andavadoaka and move onto pastures new. Those pastures won’t, I’m sure, be as beautiful as Andavadoaka. There’s no sea in Manchester, and no goats either. There’ll be some aspects of being here that I won’t miss and many that I will. I will most certainly miss the stock answer to almost any logistical question. Questions such as…. “How long does it take to get to….?” or “will we go diving at 007 tomorrow?” or “where are going?” …. the answer to all of these questions is the same. “It depends on the wind.” Indeed, I’ve been using this answer myself several times this week whenever the volunteers have asked us what our plans are for leaving here – where we’re going and how we’re getting there.
There’ve been many highlights of working here. Far too many to list here in this blog. I’ve worked with some excellent staff and brilliantly enthusiastic volunteers. It’s been especially rewarding, after having worked towards changing the world on a big scale for ethical consumers, to try and change a very small part of the world, working on a small scale. Changing the world through these small steps is especially rewarding because you get to see the steps being made – though of course it’s still a slow process and while the seeds are being sown for a marine protected area, we won’t reap the rewards for a while yet. Still, it’s been great to see the motivation of the local communities towards changing their environment for the better and towards preserving what’s left of life in their oceans. I’ve loved singing with the Women’s Association and I’ve been particularly impressed with how well they’ve responded to BV’s input this year. I’ve also been impressed with BV’s family planning project and how it has grown in strength over the past six months. The last two groups helped paint the project a huge sail. It’s so large – you can’t miss it, or its message.
I love the way that each of my seven expeditions has been completely different to the one before. Each group has its own dynamics and the events and experiences have all been unique to each expedition. This is most definitely one of BV’s strengths. Most volunteers tell me that they come here to make a difference and my motivation for coming here was the same. I hope that they feel, as I do, that we’ve made some positive impact whilst we’ve been here.
So, a final blog and a final big thank you to BV for the opportunity to work here, to the BV staff for their support, hard work and enthusiasm, and to all the volunteers from the past seven expeditions.
It’s been a great year. Thanks