Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Sunday, February 19, 2012

My amazing first weeks in Kenya

Driving through Mombasa was an experience I will not forget. Our taxi driver was like a tour guide telling us some interesting history about the city. All the windows were down and it was still so hot with no air conditioning.  Everyone in Kenya has been so loving and welcoming, it made me want to get out of the car and join in the friendly community, the kids seemed so happy in their environment.
Our first day on Marine - learning the forms!
We were dropped off at the reef for our last night of pure luxury. We met GVI staff and other volunteers in the morning. After filling out some forms we split into groups going to different projects.  A spicy pumpkin soup made by staff was waiting in Shimoni for us to enjoy while we were introduced to the project.  The crossing from Shimoni to Mkwiro was wet. Crossings are normally done between 7 and 11 in the morning when the sea is calmer at this time of year.

Our initial introduction to the base was daunting; single bed, squat toilet, bucket shower, and no electricity. After a few days you surprise yourself at how much you don’t miss all of that. The island is just like paradise, always sunny, friendly and welcoming. You really get a culture shock when getting shown around but it feels good to appreciate what you take for granted. Our first day on Marine was so exciting we went through a few procedures and forms, unfortunately we didn’t see any dolphins but snorkeling was so good. Seeing fish of all shapes sizes, and colours was amazing. On the fifth day I saw my first dolphin. After days of no sightings of course nobody believed me when I said “I’m POSITIVE” I saw a dolphin.  After a moment of silence on the boat a group of 3 humpback dolphins surfaced in the distance. The group had one newborn and two adults! 
On base cooking and duties are shared equally. Good healthy pasta dishes with garlic sauces are my favourite. Everyone hangs out and relaxes during the evenings at Paradise swapping stories and adventures of the day. Soon enough everyone is in bed to rest up for a sunrise start the next day. LUSH!