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16/08/2013 - Curieuse Curiosities

By 5 years ago
Categories Mahe and Curieuse

So we are fast approaching the end of Week 3, and the island of Curieuse is becoming our home; yet this haven continues to amaze and mystify, as do the antics of the volunteers. To sum up the week so far, here are some curiously Curieuse snapshots of life.

1.       Skinks. The skinks (little lizards for the un-initiated non-Curieuse dwellers) skulk around like ubiquitous sentinels. They always seem to be there, either regarding you with unblinking eyes, scuttling along in pursuit of each other (causing an alarming amount of leaf rustling), or remarkably, just sitting on top of the ovens waiting for morsels to fall from the saucepan in salamander-esque fashion. Sadly one skink met a grizzly end this week in the jaws of Digby, the only canine on Curieuse. Still, there seem to be plenty more to go around so don’t panic just yet.

2.       The ‘big shop’. As events go on Curieuse, this is a big one. Every Monday, the two volunteers on base duty (Clem and I this week) get to accompany the staff to the local supermarket on Praslin. Never have so many types of tinned food been crammed into such a small space. This shop is quite frankly a marvel to behold. Virtually all of the tins are then piled into shopping baskets and whisked back to Curieuse to meet an army of volunteers to restock the kitchen. The excitement can then only build because Monday is meat or fish night, so a protein hit is much appreciated by all the meat-eaters as those on duty get cooking. Who knew a bit of fish could cause so much excitement?

3.       Friday night is party night. This week saw Laura2(Aussie Laura and English Laura) on social duty, so we planned a tribal themed party. It was a relatively sedate affair by Curieuse standards, culminating in an intense game of Pictionary where the Curieuse ladies triumphed over the boys by a considerable margin. However, some particularly exotic outfits sported by the inhabitants of Leper Lodge (Lib, Sarah, Clem and Andrew) involving large carved coconut nose rings pretty much stole the show. The Shark Shack girls (both Laura’s, Ana and Hannah) (and Aly, our token male inhabitant) ended the evening by taking a stroll along the beach, which did not turn out to be particularly peaceful as the Curieuse night was interrupted by various screeches at the site of scuttling crabs. A great night was still had by all (except perhaps the crabs who had to run for cover in the blaring lights from head torches).

4.       The mystical Mount Curieuse. Having heard various members of staff extol the glories of the view from the top of Mount Curieuse, but also tales of the slightly daunting ascent up to the 172m summit, I had been left feeling a slight twinge of trepidation this morning when my alarm (Circle of Life theme tune from the Lion King – get in) went off at 5.20am. However, after a serious scramble up over all the granite boulders, clinging not quite for dear life, but at times feverishly, Aly, Laura and I (plus Pascal and Patrick) made it to the top. As predicted the views stretched out over the whole island, and onwards to Praslin and La Digue in the distance. The journey down was a little more strenuous, and involved a little bit of deforestation, courtesy of Laura who slid down the slope on her bottom, dragging a small tree with her. But despite our scratches and cuts, our Curieuse Everest was conquered and, as predicted, the climb was worth it.

5.       The trivialities of life. From washing to cleaning to cooking, everything on Curieuse is done a little bit differently. Washing becomes a very serious affair, and long debates can be had about the best method to tackle clothes that really are too pungent for words. A momentous occasion was witnessed this week, when Clem was taught to put a pillowcase on his pillow. We hope that he will be able to utilise this skill back in the real world. Cooking meals can also be pretty momentous. This week, Ana and Laura made not only pancakes for breakfast, but also a lemon cake for the post-snurtle crash. Wow. What a day. It seems that life on Curieuse really does revolve around food. And tonight Sarah has cooked tortilla chips. The anticipation is building round the table as I write.

So I hope that this has provided you with a little insight into life here on Curieuse. I could go on forever with various stories from the week and from our time here. However, supper is waiting, and having climbed Mount Curieuse today, I am getting what can only be described as drastically peckish. But to finish, I can only say that we are having wonderful time on Curieuse, and the final week is sure to be just as good.

Over and out. English Laura.