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Testimonial from

Before joining GVI I graduated University (B.Sc. Biology). In order to learn something about the work in the field of marine biology I joined the marine conservation project at Cap Ternay (Seychelles). So a normal day at Cap Ternay normally starts around 7 am. Every volunteer has duties to do around base first. This includes cooking, cleaning, preparing the boat or filling the tanks for the upcoming dives. After the duties are done Breakfast awaits you! Most days this means porridge with fruit but there are also special days during the week like the beloved pancake Thursday! After the Breakfast the best part of the day starts: going on a dive. For me it started with several dives in order to get my Advanced Open Water qualification. After that we started with fish spotting which means that a staff member points out fish during your dive and you have to write down which one it is. After practicing that for a long time the methodology training started during which you learn how to do a real survey. When you manage to handle a SMB, a tape, and watching out for fish and writing them down you are ready for real surveys! And this is a really good feeling. Finally you have your chance to collect important data. And diving at the Seychelles is for sure an experience itself! There are loads of colorful fish surrounding you and it’s a really cool feeling to even know the name of those fish. So the diving is what you are here for and it is the absolute highlight of each day. After returning from your dive either lunch or dinner awaits you prepared by the volunteers who get really creative in that task and are able to make rice and beans taste different every day! After dinner there is time for socializing and playing games or just watch a film together at movie nights. Apart from that the base is set in a stunning environment which you can explore more on the weekends. Even after one month I look around and still cannot believe that I am actually here. Although the environment is beautiful it was a bit challenging to get used to the really basic conditions at base. Sharing a non-flushing toilet with 12 other people is an experience (but no worries the provided flush buckets work well). Staff at base were wonderful: really friendly, caring and really competent in all the marine stuff. So the training as well was really good. They really made us feel as we were at home at base and did everything they could to make our stay more confi. I think the stay with GVI will help my future as I gained a lot of new diving skills that I can use on upcoming marine biology projects. Knowing a lot of different fish also makes diving itself a new experience to me. I would recommend this program to everyone who is interested in marine biology. But do not expect to do a lot of real surveys and therefore really make a difference (as GVI always points out). If the base is as crowded as it was during my stay most of the time you will have only one dive a day what is fair enough but expands the training time which is really needed. So after one month here I did 4 surveys and I really wish it would have been more.