This is the second blog written by Wildlife ACT volunteer, John Francis, volunteering in the Seychelles.
John Francis started volunteering with Wildlife ACT in South Africa in 2009, the first year our organisation began. Since then he’s volunteered with us in South Africa every year, which in total is six times. So when Wildlife ACT started a project on North Island in the Seychelles, it was only fitting that we asked John if he’d be our first volunteer and test the waters. This series of blogs are emails sent by John Francis to his family while he was volunteering with Wildlife ACT on North Island in the Seychelles.
4 December 2014
Greetings from the Seychelles.
So what else have I been up to you are probably wondering. Whilst surveying the beach I have to record any interesting birds or migrating birds which are becoming more frequent visitors as the habitat improves. In particular I am monitoring the Seychelles White-Eye which is endemic and also the White-tailed Tropic bird which has very long tail feathers and looks spectacular in flight. I am also collecting any litter that is washed ashore. My multi skills never cease to amaze me!
I have been given an impressive Seychelles volunteering work schedule – invasive species removal so far has meant wandering through woodland areas for an hour pulling up coconut tree saplings which is keeping me fit. Monitoring the giant tortoises behaviour – I do not have any bad behaviour to report yet but watch this space some of them are over 100 years old.
One of my Seychelles volunteering tasks is to feed the baby tortoises twice a day with fresh green leaves and fallen fruit gathered from the forest. They are kept in a pen until they are large enough to be clearly seen by motorists who tend to run them over! The only form of transport on the Island is by electric buggy. They are fun and easy to drive. The only other vehicles are a few gators, a couple of JCB’s and tractors. All very Eco-friendly.
It’s high season here and one of the best times to come for Seychelles volunteering. All 10 villas are currently let but even so I am often the only one on the beach. There is a diving school, kayaks and a gym and three small mountains to climb. Our Bistro is where we meet up and I usually end up on a table full of South Africans who are good company. I am the only Seychelles volunteer there as I am starting the programme off.
Everyone has been complaining that it is too hot, but the temperature has dropped to about 31°C and there is often a good light breeze – but that’s fine with me. The sea is like a warm bath and so clear.
The only downside with my Seychelles volunteering is that the tourist clients have taken all the mountain bikes; but everything is so delightful, I can cope with that.