Richard Wilson

Wednesday 07, March 2012

I can proudly say that my experience on Maldives, with big thanks to Volunteer Maldives, has been an experience of dreams, which I will never ever forget!!

I am extremely happy that Volunteer Maldives placed me on the lovely, small and tight nit community of Sh.Komandoo. The culture there is an experience second to none! A blend of Maldivian tradition and small western inputs, make the island a very relaxing and pleasant place.

The wonderfully helpful and kind people that are on Komandoo (who can speak good english) is initially totally mind blowing. I really did feel like royalty when I was there, not least the fact that word soon got around that I was there, to everyone's excitement. Right from the word go, my luggage was taken care of, I met the island president, school principal and deputies who all welcomed me with open arms. I stayed in a very accommodating, comfortable and surprisingly big guest house, A.K.A 'principal house', which is situated on the main school grounds itself, and was looked after by a lovely woman called Fathima or as the principal said... 'Chef'. She prepared delicious and surprisingly very healthy curries, fresh fish, chicken and lots of veg, with great variety, that wasn't too spicy! I'd also like to note that, there was fresh drinking water supplied through the taps on Komandoo, and I never once had any problems with my health! I will never forget the people at the school, all the smiley faces of the staff and the excitable and willing kids that I helped teach from grades 1-3. I hope one day in the future, I can have the opportunity to come back and see them all again!! The Sunday to Thursday schooling took me a little while to adjust to, but it left us with plenty of time to go on many different trips to nearby uninhabited islands. I went for: a staff picnic, 'half night noodles', to '7 palm tree island' (which was totally amazing, and pure Maldives paradise) and snorkeling on a 'science trip' with some grade 10 students.

I would just like to say a big thank you to Volunteer Maldives, firstly for putting me on Komandoo island, and secondly for taking care of the boat transfers. I was never once without help from a rep or tour guide, and I can happily say that everything went very smoothly.

I would easily recommend this experience to anyone, and if anyone needs extra information about the experience, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me!

The experience has been extremely beneficial to myself. I went there to experience theculture, and I could not have gone to a better place to experience this! I have made many, many friends while I have been here and it gives you personally such a big breathof fresh air, when you compare life in the Maldives, to life in the UK. The close community was an extremely good experience and example that the UK needs!! I feel that I have been able to help the teachers and islanders immensely. Even though I am not a teacher, I felt I was able to contribute more in meetings that were helped for subject grades. From the little things such as marking work, to the big things such as giving a report to the principal on ways how the whole school could improve. The best aspect has got to be the people on the island! Such amazing people! The staff were very, very welcoming, all full of life smiley and generally happy to see me there! I will never forget every single person, and I hope to keep in touch with them into the future. There is so many 'best' aspects of the experience, I could go on forever saying them all. The food, the uninhabited islands (Wow!), the people, the school, the teachers, the sports. Everything!

Island(s): Komandoo, Shaviyani Atoll
Duration: 5 weeks total. 4 weeks volunteering, 1 week resort.