An Amazing Race to Remember
In addition to assisting with marine conservation and environmental awareness in the Seychelles, GVI also gives back to the local community by working closely with the President’s Village Children’s Home. As the home provides a safe and supportive environment to more than 60 Seychellois children coming from backgrounds of various degrees of abuse and neglect; GVI takes it upon themselves to provide additional support in regards to school supplies, clothes, extra curricular activities, individual presents at Christmas, and the most recent project of installing a large solar panel energy source. As an extra special treat for both our volunteers and the kids alike, each week a group of our volunteers makes their way down from our research base at Cap Ternay down to a local beach to snorkel, splash, play, and of course eat cookies with all the smiling kids. In order to provide the additional levels of support, we fundraise by organizing large events and activities to take part in and asking friends, family, and co-workers from back home for their support.
On March 1st we held our most current charity fundraiser: The Amazing Race Seychelles, a day filled with fierce competition, epic challenges, a few close calls, and most importantly multitudes of laughs and smiling faces. Our fundraising goal for the event was to come up with a total between us of $750 or £450. The extremely successful event was organized by our wonderful Community Officer Emma and one of our fellow volunteers, Kristen. For those of those not familiar with the premises of the game show The Amazing Race – teams compete against each other by completing numerous physical and mental challenges in a race-like fashion, while travelling to multiple locations for each new clue. In our 2015 GVI Seychelles Amazing Race, the GVI Cap Ternay staff helped set up and run each of the challenges spread out around the island of Mahe, while the volunteers were broken into teams and competed for glory. The four teams consisted of El Fuego, The LuLu Lemon Sharks, Oriental Sweetlips & the Smoking Hot Men, and Charlie’s Angelfish.
By 9:30 the first clue was administered starting off with a Puzzle: “When you need me, you throw me out. When you don’t, you pull me in” The teams were quick to come to the solution of the riddle, which was an “Anchor” and took off towards the beach where our boat the Manta was located and the next challenge awaited. We then had to face an obstacle course put on by the staff consisting of nerf gun bottle shooting, hunting for tokens in sand mounds, jousting on logs placed in the ocean and finally a race back to base where a blindfolded maze was set up and ended with a pit stop with a chance of the last team being eliminated. Team El Fuego took the lead, followed by the LuLu Lemon Sharks, ending with a close call between the Oriental Sweetlips & the Smoking Hot Men and Charlie’s Angelfish. Unfortunately team Angelfish arrived seconds after the Oriental Sweetlips but it was revealed that rather than being eliminated, team Angelfish would just suffer a speed bump of having to husk a coconut before they could catch up to the other teams in the next challenge of going to a nearby beach, swimming out and collecting 3 balloons of various colours to attain clues to the next riddle. Once the riddle was solved we were administered the next clue for our next location: the beach where we spend time each week with the kids from Presidents Village; the last team to arrive would be eliminated. On any other day this would be a 40 minute walk up hill both ways in the hot sun and humid 31 C weather, but now it was a race to stay alive in the game. All teams gave a hot and sweaty best effort to arrive at the next pit stop before their competition, but unfortunately the speed bump proved to be effective and team Charlie’s Angelfish was eliminated.
We then enjoyed a quick lunch and swim on the beach before we were off again on our next challenge: Answering questions about the Seychelles’ history in which we were allowed to ask Seychellois locals on the beach. This challenge taught us that the beautiful country we were working in was named for a Jean Moreau de Sachelles and the country was granted independence in 1976. Make, the island we inhabit has 3 marine national parks: Bay Ternay, Port Launay and St. Anne; besides the inner islands, the other outer island groups are named Amirantes, Alphonse, Aldabra and Farquhar. Unfortunately team LuLu Lemon Sharks also learned that some of the locals may need to brush up on their history lessons as the team fell way behind with their answers and was eliminated. There was a quick detour for the remaining two teams to either get 10 pictures of random people holding a toy dinosaur on land or completing an inner tube challenge at sea. The two teams were then administered a tic-tac-toe board filled with puzzles, riddles, challenges, trivia and photo ops. The first team to get three challenges completed in a row was awarded with a head start to the next and final leg of the journey: a kayak race through the mangroves where victory awaits the first to arrive on the beach at the end of the mangrove maze. Once the teams raced to the location of the kayaks they were greeted with another challenge to overcome: how to manoeuvre a team of 3 on a one person kayak. After some initial capsizing and heroic paddeling techniques from both teams, team El Fuego was the first to cross the final bend in the mangrove river and claimed the beach victoriously. After many laughs, team pictures, and a few capsized kayaks on the beach we all made our way to a local cold fresh water waterfall to escape the heat before we headed back to base.
The perfect day ended in the most perfect way with a delicious candle lit celebratory BBQ on Cap Ternay Beach watching the pink and gold sky fade away. When asked what brought their team to victory, El Fuego responded with: “Good genes and our strong determination to win”. While El Fuego brought in the lead for the physical race, team Oriental Sweetlips & the Smoking Hot Men won the fundraising race by bringing in the largest donation amount of £240.00. In the end we were all winners when it was announced we raised a total of $850.00 or £560.00, surpassing our goal by 25%! If you would like to contribute to our charitable trust that goes towards our impact on the youth of the President’s Village please donate below:
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