The island of Wasini is virtually unrecognised, but here in Mkwiro the burning orange sun welcomes our research each morning. The island has a story of its own, based around tragedy and triumph, and it is here that we live and work towards making a difference to the community and the surrounding coastal area.
Living on the island is very simple. Our mornings start at 5:30am, which at first is a shock to the system, but after a couple days, you get used to it and your biological clock automatically wakes you up! The marine work is very gratifying; with each day you learn new and interesting things that teach you so much about everything that goes on in the world that you so rarely get the chance to fully experience.
While I’ve been here, I’ve seen dolphins for the first time ever! I was so excited, I felt like a little kid in a candy store. During my first week here, we watched a large pod of dolphins, they were foraging for food and socializing with one another, which was amazing to see up close.
The way they interact with one another is so fascinating to observe. They played for a while, swimming up and down the channel, jumping and splashing around, rubbing their bodies against one another and slapping the water with their fins. Even the calves were awkwardly messing around, while their mothers kept them close and in check.
Through the clear blue waves you watch them meander beneath the surface, at times swimming on their backs, showing off their pink bellies, while others surf the waves. I could have watched them for hours like that, being so free and at peace.
Yet, this is only the start of showing how great the project has been, with only one day. Its rewarding to know that just by surveying these majestic creatures, we’re helping to conserve the beauty and diversity of our seas.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience of being here and would recommend it to anyone!
The idea of basically camping on an island for weeks, with no water or electricity may seem daunting at first but you adapt quickly, so that the ocean becomes your bath and the stars and moon become your light. This trip has taught me so much and left me with valuable memories and a group of amazing friends! Carpe diem!
Charlie Goodwin – Volunteer in Kenya
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