PROJECT: Teaching and swimming coaching
WRITTEN BY: Vivienne Zhu
It has been a truly eventful week with snorkelling trips to coral reefs and uninhabited islands, and a visit to a local artist all on the agenda! Below is our ‘Must Do’ list for your trip to the Maldives.
1. Snorkelling on an uninhabited island
Last Friday, we were lucky enough to have the chance to voyage to the uninhabited Havodigala Island. With palm trees scattered along the coastline, a short walk took us to a secluded beach where the beautiful, clear, blue water was filled with an assortment of coral and wildlife. This island was truly paradise. With no one in sight, we were able to dive into the ocean and explore the magical underwater world. We were able to soak up the afternoon sun and take endless photos of cartwheels, star jumps and water hair flips.
We were treated to an exquisite dinner of BBQ fish with the sun setting on the horizon. A small bonfire was lit and we enjoyed cooking marshmallows on a stick until they were burnt and melted like clouds in our mouths. Our local partner took us to find crabs in the sand and after the initial fear (they are surprisingly similar to spiders) we had a pleasant time catching them. When we let them go, they scurried away seemingly at the speed of light (you’d be surprised how fast the Maldivian crabs crawl!)
2. Speedboat under the stars
On our journey home from the, night dawned upon us. We were able to enjoy a gentle sea breeze and millions of twinkling stars in the night sky. The view was indescribable - no photo could capture the special moment we shared. You simply have to experience it for yourselves.
3. Eat the local food!
On the weekend, we enjoyed a meal of kotthuroshi (roti mixed with curry, tuna, beef, and chicken sausage). It was absolutely magnificent and we savoured every mouthful. Another group favourite was BBQ octopus, which was definitely a highlight after a long day snorkelling.
A word of warning: NEVER eat the chillies, especially eating them whole! Imogen mistakenly believed the small chilli was a chopped up capsicum (and boy was she wrong!). The locals will certainly laugh at you if you do this!
4. Karaoke with new friends
We prepared for Australia Day with tattoos, hats and blow up hands. We arrived at a beautiful house with the Australian flag flying high and were offered a wonderful table of food including fried rice, BBQ fish and chicken, sausages and baked potato. After filling our stomachs, we belted our own renditions of pop-songs including favourites ‘Super Bass’, ‘Rolling in the Deep’, ‘Love Story’, ‘Hey Ya’ and ‘Marry You’. This helped us bond as a group and we even watched our local partner taking it away with a high score of 81!
5. Artist – Soa Bey
Yesterday, we visited a local Thinadhoo artist called Soa Bey. His paintings and charcoal drawings were unimaginable. It was evident that creativity runs in his family, as his mother makes beautiful, traditional Maldivian dresses for girls including hand-woven collars and cuffs. We were able to view an extensive range of artworks, from portraits of Nina Dobrev and Angelina Jolie, to close-ups of eyes, to paintings of turtles, fish and sunsets. His work was also recently exhibited in Switzerland. We can’t wait to receive our personalised charcoal drawings!
Tomorrow we’ll be going to the Robinsons Resort; we can’t wait to share our upcoming adventures!