Snorkeling Day Trip
I, along with volunteers Astrid and Emma had the privilege of accompanying children from both Olives and Nyota on a day trip along the Nyali coastline with the opportunity of snorkeling and seeing some of the local aquatic life. The trip was kindly sponsored by Buccaneers and the Voyager Hotel who supplied the boat and lunch after. We started the day preparing the equipment we needed to take with us; snorkels, towels and spare clothes for the kids were all necessities that had to be brought to the hotel before the kids arrived. We arranged transport for ourselves and the heavy bags and got there 15 minutes before everyone else arrived.
The morning was spent organising the kids into two groups, they first had to be shown the dangers of open water snorkeling which the manager of Buccaneers, Sabrina, showed to one group at a time through an educational DVD. Whilst one group were indoors, the other was out in the pool testing out the snorkels. We volunteers along with staff members Michele and Anna H took turns jumping in and out the pool to keep an eye on the kids and monitor their progress. Many of them were naturals and got it straight away. Others were slightly reluctant to put their faces underwater and some would have rather swam without, but we made them continue as this was a great opportunity for them and they might not get to do this again. Eventually after a few hours we managed to get them all through the basics and they were all very eager to get out on the sea.
We locked up our things and headed out towards the boat. I was surprised to find that it was a glass boat with a clear bottom so we could see things as we chugged along. We first stopped at a reef where the guide found a few starfish of varying sizes. The reef was very shallow and we were able to wade around before returning to the boat to the snorkeling destination. After more brief travelling we finally arrived at the place we were going to snorkel. The guides jumped in with pieces of bread and held them underneath the boat against the glass. Suddenly the boat was surrounded by these zebra coloured fish that went mad for the bread, it was shocking how quickly they devoured the bread but at the same time very mesmerising and fascinating. After the feeding we all got into the water. There were life rings that many of the kids floated around dipping their heads under to see the various fish. The snorkelling went well with no problems at all. The kids were well behaved and when we got back into the boat they all had a smile on their face which was very pleasing to see.
We then travell\ed back to the hotel in time for lunch. Voyagers had prepared a feast of burgers and chips which the kids were overjoyed with. Very few of them have ever had burgers and it was great to see them getting up for more. We all had much to eat that day and I for one had enough to fill me up. After we finished up and had our sodas, we posed for some group photos with all the staff and kids. The staff then took the kids back to the schools in matatus and we took the equipment home and hung it out to dry.
The experience for me was brilliant as it was not only a great day out with the kids, but it was a chance for them to learn something new and then go out and perform it firsthand. All the kids enjoyed the trip and were grateful for the adventure. I would love to take them all out for a similar trip again.
By Josh McMahon
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