Sunday, 7 October 2012

Things we take for granted

People often look at the photo's on here and on facebook and comment on the paradisiacal nature of Seychelles. Whilst it is true there are elements of Seychelles which are paradisiacal, I can tell you one thing for free; Paradise does not exist.

Dr G, Lady P and Vivvy in the water at L'archipel/Anse Gouvernment

In the UK, we take for granted that when we turn on the taps, water will come out. We take for granted that when we turn on a light switch, the room will be illuminated. The taps out here are like a lottery. Except for the occasions or weeks where there has been little or no rain. At these times, you're guaranteed drought!

A wise lady, Mrs H once commented that, "Even if I left my school in London, I won't get rid of challenges altogether, I will simply have new challenges." Another good friend HP (no, not the sauce- but a rather successful Oxford/Harvard graduate) once said, "The grass is never greener on the other side, it's just different". When I told him about how jealous I was that he gets to fly to Spain and Dubai at the drop of a hat, he said "Listen Willy, Microsoft Excel looks exactly the same whether you're sat in Dubai or Baker Street!". He was right on both accounts.

Indeed, the grass is not greener in Seychelles, it is just very different. There are lots of beaches, beautiful walks and amazing people who are polite and always willing to chat. However, there are some nagging issues such as the variety of vegetables on offer. All veg is imported, so in any given week/month, you could be eating the same veg over and over (namely tomatoes, aubergine, green beans and cucumber). That is of course if there's any veg at all in the supermarkets. Water can be a problem when there is no rain and humidity is not your best friend either if you have to wear long trousers at your local restaurant. On the brighter side, just this Thursday a colleague handed me an 8kg bag of starfruit. They were really fresh and juicy (succulent is the word you're looking for dear). Then today, our local fisherman "Big Alex" cooked us dinner-Octopus Curry and Ray Curry. Shame I can't wash the dishes he gave us as there's no water right now!

And yes, whilst it is true that this is one of the most beautiful places in the world, it doesn't mean you don't have to work. I still have planning and marking to do and network issues still need troubleshooting everyday. I no longer need to wait 2 weeks and 20 e-mails later to get fonts installed on our school system, but I do have to go around each machine manually to install them. In a way it's empowering, in another way it can be a little draining.

Emotionally, it's also not easy out here, especially if your loved one is not here or if you're single. It's hard when there are couples around and you see them having fun and sharing intimate moments. Given that this is one of the top honeymoon destinations in the world, we see a lot of couples, too many in fact. You wan't to tell them to "get a room" and then you realise that actually you're in their hotel pool and they are paying anywhere between £200-£6000 a night, so I guess we can't really complain! But it is at times like these when you crave intimacy and your loved ones from back home. Your wife, your girlfirend, boyfriend, mum or dad. Thank goodness for Skype! But Skype cannot cure the emotional rollercoaster that "Ellie L" once described... Out here, you can find yourself really high and hyper or really low with nowhere to go and no one to turn to. Sometimes it gets lonely, other times you wish you could break away. Thankfully, a good night's sleep usually washes away most of the stresses from the day before. We have a relatively good network out here. Our line manager Dr G is always asking how we're doing and Captain M always puts us at ease.

So is this, it's just a different place. It has its pro's and it has its con's. I hope to keep sharing these with you.

For now, here's one of the things keeping me happy-Photography:

BBQ fish-Creole style

 Tribute to MJ

Girls vs Boys is a big feature in all games both on the beach and in school.

Chilling at the Coco De Mer Hotel

Life's a game. You have to play to win!

Playing with frames:

The rope series:


 "E, Mrs H, Boatwain M and Ellie L" - reflecting on their day off.

More rope:

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