The program I worked on with GVI was Coral Surveying at Cap Ternay in the Seychelles. I learned about the program when the GVI visited my university and realized this program included a lot of what I wanted to do after university. Most days on base started pretty early, waking up and working with your group to complete the duties for the day. After we’ve completed our duties we go and eat breakfast, then get ready for a day of underwater research. My major highlight of the trip occurred week two of my stay when my group saw a whale shark. The shark was just as curious about us as we were of it, which was amazing to see in person. I hope everyone gets to see a natural wonder similar to my experience with the whale shark, because not enough people appreciate just how great this world is, and I believe it would change their mind for the better. The environment on base from day 1 was very inviting, and it didn’t take long to settle in and feel like I belonged on this base with all of the people that arrived here with me. The toughest challenge I was not expecting was keeping the hairy caterpillars off of my clothes. It was interesting seeing the difference between the two sets of volunteers I worked with, from my original group where everyone was the same age, to the second group where some of the people were much older. The training was very thorough, and if you wanted to become an expert on a subject, the staff would do their best to teach you as much as they knew about the subject. I enjoyed that we were diving with a purpose, rather than just recreationally. With such a righteous purpose of restoring the coral reefs, it made me passionate about learning the material presented and being able to survey as quickly as possible. My proudest accomplishment was being the first person to work on coral surveys while only being on base for 8 weeks rather than 12. Before coming to Cap Ternay I was, and still am, studying environmental geoscience with a focus in marine and coastal environments (much like what I did the 8 weeks I spent on base!). My outlook has not changed much regarding the environment because I have tried to be as environmentally conscious as I could leading up to the present. I hope my experience at Cap Ternay will help me in the future by providing me experience researching coral reefs and marine life. My only advice that I would give someone thinking of joining GVI is BRING BUGSPRAY and enjoy every moment on base because you will never forget it.