Every once in a while, you just have to stop and think “holy cow, how did I end up here!?!” Sometimes that moment is because you’re sitting at a picnic table under a palm tree on the most beautiful white sand beach, the ocean the clearest, most vivid blues you’ve ever seen, listening as perfect waves lap up at you.
It’s hard to believe I’ve already been in the Seychelles for two weeks! Let me start again – it’s hard to believe I’m in the Seychelles, period. This is a place I once dreamed about, fantasized about. And now I’m here! And what an amazing place it is. The bay at Petite Anse beach (where the WiseOceans Marine Educator team is based at Four Seasons Resort Seychelles) is definitely one of the most beautiful beaches I believe I have ever seen. And everyone I work with is absolutely lovely. Krishna and Georgie have been taking me through the ropes of what happens day to day here at our beach office, and also telling me more about their experiences when they were each in Mauritius (where the WiseOceans Marine Educator team is based at Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita).
I’ve only been here a short time, but I’ve already done so much! Snorkeling in the bay has been heaps of fun, and I was lucky to spot my first ever juvenile parrotfish – a juvenile bicolor parrotfish (Cetoscarus bicolor). We’ve also collected beach profiling data for this month, which is used by the Ministry of Environment here in the Seychelles to monitor beach erosion, and I’ve helped Georgie add some more coral fragments to the reef restoration nursery. I’ve also had a lot of fun meeting guests from all over the world, and engaging in some very competitive rounds of Top Trump (a great marine themed card game)!
Last week, we had a birthday party for one of the resident tortoises here. It was Cinderella’s 34th birthday, and since no birthday celebration is complete without a birthday cake, everyone was invited for the festivities.
In my downtime, I’ve been exploring this beautiful island I get to call home. The Seychelles have a fascinating history of being found and forgotten, and then found and forgotten again, by various seafaring civilizations. Victoria, the main town here in Mahé, is colourful with lots of fun side streets and a bustling market. The native coco de mer nut has an equally long history of being a trade commodity. I haven’t seen one yet, but I’m hoping to visit the surrounding islands during my short time here to check out some more of the lush flora, including the famous coco de mer. I’m also very excited to visit the Natural History Museum in Victoria to learn even more about this fascinating group of islands and hike to some of the waterfalls that dot the coastline of Mahé.
Checking out the local grocery stores is one of my favorite activities when I’m in a new country and the stores here did not disappoint. You can find everything from delicious imported cheeses to locally-grown produce, along with dried fish heads and frozen whole suckling pigs. Most fascinating of all, however, was the abundance of Australian snack food in the grocery stores!
It’s been an amazing time here in Seychelles and I know I’ll miss everyone I’ve met here, but I can’t help but be excited about moving to Mauritius at the end of this month to start my Marine Educator role there! To be honest though, I still pinch myself in the morning to make sure this isn’t a dream.