I am Martin and working was an auditor at HSBC focusing on Information Technology. In the past years I used my holidays to join other volunteering projects i.e. in Namibia (EHRA, focus on Elephants in the dessert) and Mozambique (Marine Reasearch, focus on Whale Sharks and Humback Whales). This way of spending my holidays gives me the best opportunity to get a different view on my obviously very risk adverse and strict job.
The German agency TravelWorks convinced me to stay with GVI in Cap Ternay on the Seychelles for four weeks. During my stay I noticed that the project is very well organized, particularly in comparison to another marine research project that I joined in 2016. There was a schedule for every day and the team always tried (and in most cases succeeded) to stick to this schedule. Additionally, the team on base was always friendly and willing to help. They all did a very good job. One of the highlights with relation the staff for me were the dinners prepared by them. Please continue to do so – it was always very tasty. There are only two things that could be improved in the future. The first is on open and friendly behavior. One day, the country manager Chris came here but unfortunately did not say hello to all e.g. at breakfast and also not to me when went into the office. The second relates to the living conditions on base. It would be great if the team tries to solve technical issue that have been addressed in Tuesday evening’s meeting within a shorter period of time (we had a sink that did not drain for 1.5 weeks and a ticking fan as well as a broken lightball for 4 weeks).
However, the living conditions on base were good and better then what I expected. Nevertheless, there are a few things that I would like to highlight that you may start to think about. Of course, we try to save water, collect litter and provide our share for the environment. However, please also consider to have more eco-friendly cars. In particular, the first car, which was used to get the dive kits to the beach, lost a lot of oil. Furthermore, I do not feel like I was able to provide my share for the project. In the end I could do only one survey. This is somehow related to the very low number of dives (18 in 4 weeks) and also to the way the training was done. Half of the training was not relevant for me (EFR and also AOW because I got both already), thus the first week was unnecessary with regard to me, and the theoretical part of the survey related training started only in week 2 and was only finished by end of week 3. Due to the additional 9 practical training dives, I did only one survey at the end, which is not was I expected upfront and disappointing. The most compensating factor to this are the other volunteers on base. Almost all of them are very nice people and became my new friends. I had a lot fun with them and will definitely stay in contact with them in the future. An in all, I was happy to take the opportunity to stay here with GVI and I may join one of your other projects in the future.