So we’ve been on placement for a few weeks now, and have about a month left here until it’s all over! Time is still flying by, although the last blog post that I made does seem like an age ago. We’ve settled into the small sleepyvillage resort of Panagsama well and everything’s starting to come together. It’s about a 15-minute tricycle ride away from the main town of Moalboal, where all of our weekly shopping is done in a mall straight out of the 90’s.
When we’re not eating the local/western/dirt cheap cuisine on offer anywhere you look in such a small place. We’re found; sweat running from faces, over what is essentially a two-hob camping gas stove. I’m definitely not as good a cook as the locals; who can whip together five different meals in a kitchen smaller than ours, and still make it taste good. But I can still make a mean tomato pasta bacon thing, a traditional Italian dish, I think!
Part of my personal project is to meet with the local ambassadors, who are the local Green Fins champions within the diving industry here in Panagsama. It is fantastic to see their passion for the environment and their views on local laws and what needs to be changed. They are able to communicate their issues simply and know what has to be accomplished in order to protect their livelihoods for themselves and for future generations. I have to find a new ambassador, someone who is equally as passionate as them, which may be a serious challenge; as this group has passion flowing from them.
One of the regular tasks that we do here is to give a training presentation to each dive shop. I was the first to do my presentation, to a crowd whose majority didn’t speak English. I was able to engage them in a few discussions and I think they understood most of what I was saying. Apparently it’s the most receptive they’ve been to a presentation over the past few years! Hopefully they didn’t see the amount I was sweating (as per usual) I looked as if I’d been for a run in the desert.
It’s not all work though! A few of us went for a fun dive the other week and saw the spectacular sardines. The day dive turned into a night dive as they came overhead, completely engulfed us and swam circles around us for a good 15 minutes. Something that will not be forgotten in a hurry!