Leisure time in paradise
A report from Nature Seychelles' International Volunteer Program
I can hardly believe that I have already been in Seychelles for two months now. But I guess time goes by very fast when you are having fun. Working with Nature Seychelles as a volunteer on Cousin Island Special Reserve is very interesting but apart from work there are also many other great ways to spend your free time. There are a few free time activities that made my trip to Cousin unique and really enjoyable.
The top activity was definitely surfing. Alex, one of the wardens here, taught me how to do it. Many thanks to him. After I took my first few waves I really got addicted to it. It is difficult to completely describe how you feel when you catch a big wave, I can only say it feels amazing. It’s exciting and relaxing at the same time and it makes me feel free.
Another nice water activity I loved was snorkelling. The underwater world here is full of fishes and other interesting and beautiful marine creatures. Because Cousin Island is a Marine Protected Area, people are not allowed to go fishing close to the island so we see more fishes here than in most other places. Every time I went for a snorkel I discovered new fish that I have never seen before.
And the best thing to do after work? Jump in the warm Ocean, swim a little bit, take a shower and finally watch the stunning and beautiful sunset. Sometimes the clouds make it even more beautiful because they make the sky appear purple and red. I enjoyed watching those colours from different spots on the island. Watching the sunset while you are having a walk on the beach is nice but seeing it from the top of the hill of Cousin Island is just stunning.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that I have seen the most beautiful sunset of my life here. Sunsets are even more enjoyable while having dinner with other volunteers or staff, like the time we had a sunset-sushi meal at the viewpoint.
Sushi is just one of the many intercultural meals that we cooked on Cousin. Because volunteers come from different countries they also bring different cultures, which means many new ideas for our meals. Cooking with each other makes for a lot of fun.
Chatting and eating under the stars, we got to know each other very well then. The stars here are very bright at night. You can even see the milky way quite clearly. And if you don’t want to stop looking at the gorgeous sky, grab some bed sheets and spend the night on the beach. Why not fall asleep counting shooting stars
I had visited the Seychelles three times before I came to Cousin and therefore thought I knew the country well. But this last trip showed me that I was wrong. In the last two months I discovered the Seychelles and its culture in a whole new way. Working and living with Seychellois on the island gave me a different view on the interesting Creole culture. Working with other volunteers in the forest every day gave me a different view of Seychelles’ natural beauty.
It is impossible to describe all my impressions for the last two months, it is something you have to experience for yourself
by Marvin Abdel-Massih