22/01/2013 - Our New Island Home

By 5 years ago
Categories Mahe and Curieuse
It’s been an eventful first week for the new volunteers at the GVI base camp in La Curieuse. After a warm welcome by all the staff (including Digby the resident dog) we settled in to our new island home. Our lodgings consist of abandoned shacks and other buildings (which have been refurbished and greatly improved thanks to the staff’s recent efforts!) that are relics of the island’s past as a containment unit for leper sufferers.

After enjoying the natural environment and marvelling in the spectacular views the island offers the volunteers began work on the many projects to be carried out on the island. Specifically, our working days are spent surveying the 7 beaches of the island in search of turtle activity, turtles that are nesting/laying (of which we’ve been fortunate enough to see two already) and hatchlings that are emerging (we’ve already seen two make their way to the ocean – Pierre and Charlie). A bird surveying program is also currently being started up to monitor the many bird species that call the island their home. The mangrove population and its many animal inhabitants is soon to be another topic of our studies– the volunteer team are hard at working trying to orientate themselves with the many species names and information before the program is in full swing. We were lucky enough to visit the tortoise population that lives on the island (as well as see some of their recent hatchlings) and will work more closely with them in weeks to come. Next week we will learn about some further things we’ll be doing – including surveying the rare coco de mer trees that grow on the island.  

After a week of solid work the end of the week allowed the staff and volunteers some well earned rest and recreation. The social team was hard at work to put on a themed night on Friday – everybody looking smart in their toga costumes, fashioned from whatever we were creative enough to use from our limited island resources. The volunteers also enjoyed some time away from the island this weekend, visiting nearby Praslin island where they enjoyed some of the luxuries of the tourist resorts over there for the day.
The Guys
The Girls

After a fantastic first week here we are all a little less curious about Curieuse island – but more than keen to get well and truly stuck in to all our important conservation projects and to learn more about this beautiful place.