We have been in Aninuan, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines for 12 days now, it seems like 12 weeks (in a good way) due to the enormous amount of info and training we have had thus far! The Zoox programme has included; Marine monitoring, Sea Cams training, Marine conservation and diving, Global marine conservation, Blue carbon and Green Fins project training. My memory is trying to make like a barrel sponge and absorb it all, more brain coral needed perhaps…
I still can’t really believe I’m here. I have been diving for a few years now and have found the ocean to be a beautiful, mesmerising, terrifying and peaceful place, but one that I am always drawn back to. It dawned on me recently maybe it might be nice to understand more about the amazing marine world I see before me, in addition to gawping at its visual splendour. I had been day dreaming on this very thought whilst living in Beijing, not so high on the visual splendour scale, (where I was working as an art teacher for the past two years), thinking “what is it I really want?” A question I find difficult to answer sometimes. The two predominate areas that popped out for further investigations were; “underwater world and art”…
I had been lucky enough to go to the Philippines on several missions since New year 2013, a kind of pilgrimage to the motherland, as I was born in General Santos, Mindanao. I have loved visiting the Philippines and the diving adventures I have had here… I thought maybe this might be a cool place to explore the
“ underwater art “ line of thought.
Through a chain of serendipitous moments I had the good fortune to have an interview with Zoox, ( a marine science/conservation training initiative ), who are working with Green Fins ( an eco-friendly diving approach) and end up here! Its brilliant where day dreams can take a person.
I am on a beach writing this looking out to mountains and the sea, I go swimming in the ocean every morning and walk home under a starry night sky. Nice. My fellow “zooxee’s” are inspiring collection of humans from all walks of life and all over the planet. An wonderful group indeed.
The Zoox “bosses” Chloe, JJ and Sam are a knowledgeable crew of three. They have run a comprehensive, v. intensive programme with humour and charm. They have made us feel really welcome, laugh a lot, fed us full of their infectious passion, enthusiasm, dedication and a wide range of cakes (which is obviously the highest priority). It’s all been pretty amazing so far…feel really lucky to be here…off to Moal Boal on Tuesday for Green Fins action. A combo of presentations, dive assessments and Tintin like sleuthing in the name of eco –friendly diving…will keep you posted…over and out – A. G. Gardner .
- Hear straight from the seahorse's mouth. Volunteers from the Zoox Experience Programme update you on their experiences in the Philippines and how they are developing as professionals in the conservation sector!
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