As Thulhadhoo, Baa Atoll celebrates 'International Mother Language Day', the Stand Up For Our Seas team gets treated to a colourful celebration of Maldivian culture as they immerse the island in their message for preserving the environment.
The Stand Up For The Seas team paddled out at 0800 hours from Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu, the starting point for their week-long journey throughout Baa Atoll, on Thursday.
The morning wind was already strong and continued to build throughout the day. Fortunately, the first leg of the journey was downwind, which meant the team sailed on through to Thulhaadhoo despite the choppy seas.
Arriving just in time for cultural festivities at Thulhadhoo, Baa Atoll, the team was welcomed by the Headmaster of Thulhadhoo School and were treated to displays of lacquer work, traditional dances and more, even partaking in the celebrations.
The afternoon also included an awareness session with the school’s Green Club of fifty older students aged between 15 to 16-year-old. They engaged in a discussion of topics ranging from plastic pollution, climate change, ocean connection, and turtle conservation. The students responded enthusiastically to the information, keen to learn and share what they knew.
This was followed by a beach clean up, which hailed over 13kg of litter in about 15 minutes. Joined by local boys, the mention of a prize added a competitive spin on the activity, and participants were gifted with recycled ghost net bracelets.
After a paddle-by exploration of the vibrant house reef, reportedly feeling slightly exhausted but mostly exhilarated, the four women set off in the evening to brave stronger winds than earlier in the day as they departed from Thulhadhoo and headed to the uninhabited island of Emboodhoo.
In anticipation for their take off, Dr. Cal Major, who flew in from the United Kingdom for the event, posted online detailing the team's' excitement to begin what she describes as a "Call to action" late Wednesday.
"The Maldives and so many countries full of incredible wildlife, are vulnerable to rising sea levels, coral bleaching, climate change, plastic pollution and ghost gear," writes Cal.
"Yet, as in the Maldives, often the problems and thus the solutions, are global. We’re highlighting what’s happening here to tackle it, and asking the global community to take action too".