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Testimonial from

My name is Eleanor Forsyth, I’m 18 years old and I was volunteering for 6 weeks on the Cap Ternay base in the Seychelles for marine conservation. I originally chose to go on the project as marine conservation is something I’m really passionate about and due to the course I’m studying at university (biomedical engineering) I don’t get the opportunity to get involved as much as I would like to and felt like this would be a really good way to make a difference and contribute to something as well as gaining more knowledge. When I arrived, the first week was a whirlwind of activities, like trying to learn your allocated fish study, keep up with daily duties, taking your Emergency First Response course and get settled in on base. It was tiring but crazy fun and was a great way to get to know everyone. It gave us all the information we needed about the work we would be doing over the next few weeks and meant we could start surveying as soon as possible. After the orientation and workshops that take place during the first week on base, the average day consisted greatly of duties (compressing tanks, making food for everyone, cleaning grounds etc) and diving. Most days I was diving twice a day doing invert surveys which was super fun getting to learn about all the different kinds of inverts and seeing some of the larger megafauna like turtles and whitetip sharks. One group was lucky enough to even see a whale shark while I was there! My favourite were the huge rays and turtles as sometimes they would even swim along with us for a while. Diving was without a doubt the biggest highlight of my time in the Seychelles! Although making friends for life made the trip completely unforgettable and the experience wouldn’t have been the same without all the other amazing volunteers and staff on base. As well as diving we also had movie nights, documentary nights, BBQ Thursday, and a long weekend where we could go and visit other islands. On my long weekend me and a few of the other volunteers booked a villa on Praslin where we could relax and snorkel on the beaches nearby. It was super fun and was nice to have a break from duties around base for a few days and just get to chill and hang out together. Overall I really feel the trip has given me a new perspective and insight into marine conservation which has enhanced my knowledge far more than reading from a book ever will. Not only has volunteering enhanced my CV it has given me more confidence within myself and countless other transferable skills that I can carry into daily life and my work place back home in the UK. I cannot recommend it highly enough. The biggest piece of advice I can give to anyone debating whether to go for it is just to go for it! I can promise you won't regret it and it will 100% change your life!

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