Friday, 30 January 2015

A typical day in the stunning Kolamaafushi

COUNTRY: Maldives
PROJECT: Teaching and Sports Coaching
WRITTEN BY: Emily Edwards and Katie Brown

To describe a typical week in this tropical paradise is a near impossible task, as every day brings something different from the last. For most of us, our day would begin at 8:20am with Emily or Sonia banging on our door telling us we had 10 minutes to be up and dressed to head to the cafe for breakfast. This usually was then followed by a solid 4 minutes of moaning and groaning about how tired we were, and then we would reluctantly drag ourselves from bed ready to start another amazing day.

Breakfast at the cafe consists of a wide selection of Aussie favourites. From toast (BYO vegemite), to sausages, cereal, porridge and rice pudding. To finish breakfast, without fail, a plate full of fruity goodness consisting of apples and oranges would come out. After breakfast, on a typical day, we usually come back to the house, and get ourselves organised to head to school.

The school day for the students begins at 7:30am with assembly, and ends around 12:30pm. Whilst we are not required to teach in those hours, we all enjoy heading to the staff room (conveniently air conditioned- win!) to chat with the teachers and plan our lessons for the day.

This week, we were lucky enough to have a snorkelling trip on Wednesday morning, where 'Mo Mo' our island dad took us to a beautiful uninhabited island, only a 20 minute boat ride from Kolamaafushi. We saw an abundance of different fish and coral, and those who were daring enough had a backflip or two off momo's little boat. At 1pm we all head back to the cafe for a lunch consisting typically of rice and curry, with a hefty serving of pappadums and a plate of vegetables, powering up to begin our teaching for the day at 2pm.

When 2pm hits, we take the 5 minute walk down to the school and begin our classes. Most of us are paired up for teaching, with the exception of Sonia who we labelled most capable and confident to take a class on her own. Each pair teaches for a total of one hour, with a different class each day. Katie and Anna teach grades 1-3, who are arguably the cutest kids in the school. Grades 4-7 who have a slightly cheekiness to them are split between Sonia and Emily & Sammy Lux. Then grades 8-10 are taught by Sam Beales and Phil.

After the hour of teaching we are usually all knackered and stagger back to the house to share our highlights from the lesson. We then have about an hour to relax before we head off to either swim coaching or sports coaching, which we tend to spend singing our lil' hearts out.

On Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday it is swim coaching where we meet around 40 eager kids from grades 1-7 to play games and practice swim techniques. On Mondays and Wednesdays we take the older kids (grades 8-10) to play netball or soccer, which they all love! After this is over, we go for a swim, do some fitness training (for the eager ones in the group) or go explore the island and chat with the local store owners, where we pick up some snickers or pringles for our stash.

At 7pm, we head over to the cafe and enjoy a delicious meal followed by a fruit platter, then either head home to relax, teach a parents' class or have another walk around the island. By far, the best way to end a good week at Kolamaafushi is with a trip to a resort island, which we are doing this weekend; it's just one of the many perks of a placement in the Maldives!

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