May/June Week 5

We’re definitely getting very emotional writing this last blog post. We have both become very attached to Mozambique: the people, the culture, the food and especially the diving. This week has been such an amazing week, we’ve had an excellent balance of our normal schedule and little extras to end our 5 weeks working here on an incredible note.

Last weekend unfortunately we were not able to have our fun dive due to the weather, by that time we were all getting serious withdrawals, the only thing making it up was the swimming lessons we had planned later on in the afternoon. These lessons were very different to the ones we had the week before, every single one of the boys that came, could swim – unfortunately no girls this week but hopefully with some more persuasion that will change for the next program – all the boys had so much fun in the water. We attempted to improve the techniques they had by teaching them different strokes and refining the skills they already had. After some lessons we just played lots and lots of different underwater games. It was really fun to play underwater games with them and
definitely got us a little nostalgic as we remembered the games we used to play. We just really really hope that eventually these kids we’ve taught try everything out in the ocean. We know that one of the kids Germias already loves the ocean as he was one of the best students we had and we see him come down to the beach nearly everyday.

The rest of the weekend we relaxed and caught up on things we had ongoing. Nicole spent the majority of the weekend prepping for her rescue diver course while I lounged about and got more tanned. This weekend was also a special few days as it was Independence day in Mozambique. Many locals described it as their Christmas, we really got a taste for the celebration when we went to a community street party. We both enjoyed dancing to Mozambican music, meeting incredibly talented dancers and just getting completely immersed in a whole different culture.

The rest of the week was mix between coral reef surveys and fisheries research, however the weather wasn’t our friend. Monday was a very quiet day at Paindane due to Monday still being a public holiday, while we waited for any possible nets or spear fisherman to come in we watched the most beautiful display of three whales. On our walk back we did an impromptu beach clean as the tides have been really high recently and they’ve dropped a lot more rubbish out. We also went back to Guinjata school to finish the school sign, we decided we wanted to add some fishes and foliage to keep with the theme. The weather on Wednesday made for a really interesting dive. We definitely had a well needed workout. It was also really interesting to see the two new volunteers
(Momo and Georgia) as it was their first open water dives, kudos to them as they handled it perfectly and we have no doubt they are going to be awesome divers, especially
as by they third dive on Thursday they have improved so much and decided to pursue their advanced qualification. Thursday was our last research dives and our masks fogged up a few times. The best part of our last dive was that is was at Pao (one of our favourite local sites) and that we all got to dive together as some of us paid for a fun dive. It was great vis and the conditions were perfect, a great way to end the research dives.

Today we decided to do a 5am sunrise walk to Paindane fisheries so we could say goodbye and thank you to all the fisherman one last time. It was a beautiful walk with a perfect sunrise. After that we had some fish ID work to do, some sign painting to finish off and some whale watching. We’ve spent today sat down at the dive centre bar watching whales and doing work. We literally couldn’t ask for a better way to end our last working week here. We want to end this last post saying thank you to our amazing LTO staff Willa and Liz, they’ve both taught us so much invaluable knowledge as well as always being there for us, giving us great advice , thinking of loads of fun things we’d love to do and just always laughing and having fun with us. We can’t wait for our fun dive on Saturday, finishing off our weekend how we do best… see you on the flip side.

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Our fifth and final week with Nicole and Farin has been the perfect send off! The Mozambique vibe peaked Sunday when Nicole and Farin celebrated Independence Day with our local community dancing to Mozambican tunes under a perfect starry sky. Thanks for 5 spectacular weeks, girls! We are thrilled to have Nicole staying on for another month to do her divemaster training with Guinjata Dive Centre, and we wish Farin all the best for her upcoming travels around Africa before she returns to the UK to start her masters!