Program 3, Week 3- volunteer blog posts

Team 1- Lili, Saskia, Dylon and Sophie
We spent our second week with LTO teaching and painting walls at the two local schools, Guinjata and Paindane. The first day of the week was a national holiday so we went to Guinjata to get a lot of painting done, expecting no children to be at the school. Little did we know that they like to spend their holidays at school and insisted on helping us paint. Unfortunately, most of the paint ended up on the floor so we decided to distract them by luring them outside to play soccer and limbo. Pascal, our translator was the most efficient painter of all of us and he is also a pretty cool dude as well. The second day we started our lessons with the kids with the theme ‘your favourite marine animal’. We quizzed them on their knowledge about marine animals. In the beginning we found giving the lessons difficult, given the huge language barrier, so Pascal took over the lessons. We managed to make the lessons more interactive on the following days though by playing awesome games such as ‘Sharks and Nemos’, Trivia, and Charades with a marine animal theme. We also kept them entertained by giving out prizes to the winning teams which had been donated to LTO. We wrapped up the whole year of lessons by having the kids present what they know about their favourite marine animal. One of the children was albino and we saw that he seemed to have difficulties with his sight while reading. We gave him sunglasses and reading glasses, and it touched our hearts when we saw how happy he was when his sight improved! We were also very impressed by the kids at Paindane singing the Mozambiquian anthem every day. Dylon discovered his inner artist and secret talent for drawing Pixar characters, and we created a beautiful mural with Finding Nemo characters on one of the Paindane school buildings. For another mural we had to label the planets that we painted on the wall, and Sophie named the moon “Pluto”. Although we struggled with the children in the beginning it turned out to be a very successful week!

Team 2- Laura, Payton and Gill
Gill, Payton, and I started our first fisheries research this week, walking about 45 minutes each way to Paindane. The weather varied from hot to very hot, with one day being very windy which meant loads of sand was blown our way as we waited to record the fishermen’s daily catches. We saw such a variety of different fish and some of them took a while to identify! We saw lots of Chub, plus other interesting finds like Convict Surgeonfish, and a huge Dorado. Unfortunately, the boat that the fishermen usually use for catching sharks has been broken for a while, so we were only able to collect data on one small hammerhead shark late in the week that was brought up in the net. We were very thankful the previous team purchased an umbrella to use for shade since there is no other shade at Paindane with the heat! On Friday, we recorded quite a few catches because more fishermen went out on the kayaks. Also, the tide was very low and we saw a lot more people at the beach gathering shellfish, and some of the local women taught Gill and Payton how to collect clams. We’re excited now to begin a week full of diving and snorkeling, hopefully with some whales, though that’s never a guarantee with wildlife!

What a great bunch! Our second week of research and teaching was as successful as the first, with our small but hard working students. Its crazy how fast the weeks are going, now we’re halfway through the program. We can’t wait for these next weeks of diving and coral surveys bring on the waves!

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