Program 1, Week 4 – volunteer blog post!

Teaching week – Veronica, Mattie, Daisy & Abby
We spent our final week working at both the Paindane and Guinjata schools. The children all had exams this week which meant we had more time to focus on improving the aesthetics. We decided to tackle one of the classrooms at Paindane. It was incredible to see the difference we could make in one week – what started off as a bland classroom with colourless walls is now a beautiful room with a detailed world map and colourful flags adorning the back wall. If we can make such a difference in one week, we can only imagine how wonderful the school is going to look at the end of all three programmes in October.

We only had two hours of teaching each afternoon and even that short time was so rewarding. Our lessons were focused on sharks and rays and a final quiz at the end of the week proved how much attention our students had been paying. A very fun way to end such a fantastic programme and we’re all so sad to be leaving beautiful Guinjata Bay… We’ll be back!

Fisheries Research week – Shelly, Emerald, Charlotte & Christina
Our fisheries week oddly involved pretty much everything other than actual fishing. The sea was pretty rough all week so not many fishermen went out but we entertained ourselves just fine. We read books, took walks, celebrated Emerald’s 21st birthday, did couples yoga, went swimming, gave each other massages, collected beach trash and made art with it, and applied plenty of sunscreen! Although we had a slow week, we made some memories to last a lifetime together.

Coral Reef Survey week – Madi, Tate, Nathan & Jessica
Our week of diving turned out to be not the smoothest sailing. Conditions only allowed us to really do our diving on Thursday and Friday, meaning we had to cram multiple dives into those two days. This proved to be challenging on both our bodies and our minds, yet very fulfilling in we proved to ourselves that we could push ourselves that hard and still be able to collect decent data. This experience just goes to show that when in the field of research, not everything is a guaranteed success. We all learned how to work together to really make the best of situations which are not ideal. Overall, this week turned out to be very different from what each of us expected, yet was also incredibly rewarding in it’s own way.

Our first program has now ended! We cannot believe how quickly it has gone, come back anytime! We look forward to meeting the volunteers for our second program!

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