My name is Gisela, and I’m from Barcelona.
Nearly three weeks, into my 12 week stay, has already flown by since my arrival at Curieuse Island GVI Base. It has been very nice, and was surprising how everyone got along so quickly. We are already good friends, and are from different countries from around the world. Just when we were starting to get used to the island life style, our first group of the volunteers left us, and the rest will soon follow. Only Caroline and I (the interns) are staying for 12 weeks, so the next few days at camp will be a little bit quieter before the next group of volunteers arrives.
As the days pass I can’t help but fall in love with Curieuse! It has been amazing being able to live on an island where the GVI team makes up roughly half of the inhabitants. It’s unbelievable being able to go to sleep and wake up with the sound of the Indian Ocean at our doorstep. You can look up at the astonishing, countless, and beautiful stars every night, thanks to the lack of light pollution. Every hike we go on leads to an amazing landscape where you can admire the beauty of the Seychelles. You can see different islands on clear days, as well as the most beautiful shades of blue waters surrounding them. Every beach, every shore, and the Seychelles way of life compels you to live here every day making it more and more difficult to picture myself back at home.
Something that is very funny to me is the fact that before arriving at Curieuse I had never seen a Giant Tortoise before, and now we are able to pass by them daily on our way to surveys. We even have our own camp Tortoise Obama, who feeds on our compost pile and strolls around camp.
The only downside I have found are the mosquitoes, that bite you any chance they get. They make it necessary to sleep covered by a mosquitoes net, but the good smashes the bad for sure.
Every day on Curieuse Island is a new adventure. Even though sometimes it can be physically challenging, every day is amazing. As the days pass you get used to the treks and you have this feeling of accomplishment as each trek gets easier and easier to do.
I am also quite excited about my Leadership course and becoming an intern. I first came here as a regular volunteer, but I wanted to change to the internship program. I am excited to have the opportunity to become a team leader and be able to lead some surveys and beach cleans when the next group of volunteers arrive. I bet I’ll also enjoy feeling like a wise one, answering questions, explaining interesting facts about Curieuse creatures and cheering up the mood on hikes and long surveys (we all know first week is always hard).
Another key point in making me decide to become an intern is being able to do a personal research project on the island. I am very inclined to marine life studies and I decided to come to Curieuse because I never had the opportunity to work with sharks before. Now that I am here, and an intern, I can make my own study. I have yet to decide the specifics of my project, but based on the shark captures in our last three sharkings, I am very inclined to do a species distribution or area preference of the sharks. So far, we have captured three different species and in different areas of the turtle pond. I would be able to base my study off the GPS data we have and the data we are about to record now that peak season has just started. Even though I haven’t got all the details worked out, I’m excited to be an intern and start my project!