As an avid and passionate diver, I had always wanted to try and do my bit for the protection of the coral reefs that I love so much.
That is where ZEP came in. I don’t have any science background – my academic life was in law. I was worried about the lack of science, but also hopeful that they would be able to teach me the basics that could move my career forward. They welcomed me with open arms and in just two weeks I have learnt so much. If you want a challenge, daily discussions on all things environmental, the lowdown on the diving industry as well as real experience in the field of marine conservation then do the ZEP – do it!!
I lived in Thailand for quite a while as a diving instructor and did a fair bit of travelling around, working my way from reef to reef. I work in the UK now but I miss the sea and the coral and the life of Asia. When I was offered a chance to be on the ZEP in the Philippines, I was so excited. It was somewhere I had always wanted to visit and I was looking forward to getting involved in some real training that could enhance my knowledge and past experience in the diving industry. I was so excited to be in Asia again – I love the culture and the way of life. It is so relaxed and friendly and the locals always have a smile for you. The diving is second to none – there is nowhere better than being at the real centre of the Coral Triangle.
We have had a chance to enjoy the culture of White Beach and the fire shows, we have walked up to waterfalls and mountain resorts to watch the sunset, we have played ultimate frisbee and snorkelled with the fish off the private beach until the sun set. We’ve had 4 of us on a tricycle up to the ATM in the main town and shopping at our local market and we have had a mini party on our balcony dancing under our disco lights to the joys of JLS! We have also had 2 weeks of real intensive training – on a strict 9-5 regime! The days are filled with lectures followed by assessment dives, sea grass and coral reef surveys, presentations and homework. There are 4 of us on the programme and we have learnt early on that team work is key as is good internet for all that research! We have been given real responsibility in the work that Zoox does and we are all absolutely ready for the personal projects, the practical work within the dive centres and the coral surveying that the next 6 weeks will bring.