The whole island of Nairafu seems to be made of compacted coral & sand for alleyways & the main streets. There is no tar or pavements anywhere. Wearing Flip Flops is a very sensible idea & much advised. Here is a shot of the ones I picked up that are so Island perfect! Sand gets in about everything so you might as well begin to like it.
I began my Island tour with Morten (the Atoll Volunteer Coordinator) this morning after a nice breakfast at one of the local houses with ladies named Aisha & Louisha hosting us for breakfast for the duration of our stay.
First we headed to the turtle conservation project which has about 7-8 baby turtles rescued from a neighboring island. The schedule of the Marine Team begins with Turtle Cleaning & feeding at 8:00am. Then the team joins the rest of us for breakfast at 9:30am. Then they clean out the new tanks & move the baby turtles into them. Lunch fits in at about 1:00pm followed by time spent planning information & posters for the marine center and data entry with a little brainstorming for Fish Lectures. There is one last feeding & cleaning of the turtles in the evening after which it is free time.
Morten took me walking around the perimeter of the Island showing me the sights from Sunset beach, the Police Station, the power plant, the school, a small college, the only Island hospital & other sights. The water all around the Island is wonderfully bright blue to look at. I can’t wait to get into it.
We ended our walk around at Tiny Fields which is a newly built play area for the children. By then some rain clouds had pulled up on the horizon and as we got back to the volunteer house, it began to rain – a short, light shower.
All the houses have the best ever recliner chairs sitting outside their doors, which everyone lounges in. They are called “jolly” chairs and you can’t help but smile when you slip into one.
Post Lunch I got to meet the Principal of the local School – Madhrasathul Ifthithaah who is going to place me as an Assistant teacher in the Primary section. Every class has about 30-35 students and they are dressed in bright purple uniforms..more on this tomorrow.