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Testimonial from

For the summer of 2018, I was searching for a new adventure, so armed with my shiny new PADI open water certificate, I flew across the world. Two days later I arrived at the GVI base on Mahe to move into what would be my new home for the following six weeks .Each day on base follows the same template but allows for variation and adjustment to the unexpected. We wake up early (even earlier to fit in a workout), work in teams to clean and organize base and cook meals, and meet together for breakfast. The rest of the day is filled with beach time, internship work, cooking, and exploring the islands – all of which is shadowed by the day’s dives. Each person gets on average two dives per day, three if you're lucky (and well rested). Diving became my passion here in the Seychelles. My brain is now filled with the names and distinct characteristics of a multitude of beautiful and strange invertebrates of the reef, knowledge that I applied to my dives as I surveyed some of the gorgeous areas around our base. I found joy in the search for pencil urchins deep under rock sand counting snapping oysters on the faces of the reefs. Time on base also included a multitude of lectures, certifications, and hands on teaching.Each volunteer was certified as an Emergency First Responder and a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver – two skills that will continue to serve me both in my life as a diver and as a member of my community in the future. I also was afforded the opportunity to be an intern on base, which exposed me to many other lessons on the nuances of leadership and the skills of goal setting. This culminated in a marine conservation awareness project that remains on the trail to our beach to inform the public about the area and what we are doing to conserve the reefs. GVI Marine Conservation program married my love of marine science, excitement for diving,passion for travel, and need for independence. As I am working towards a degree in Environmental Science, I found this program to provide valuable field experience that both advances my studies and skills in my field, and fosters a deeper and more complex love formy major. As I leave this program, I find myself with friends who I will miss dearly and new knowledge that fills me with desire to see more of the world.

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