It’s unbelievable that we’ve been here for more than a week now and are already done with working on one of the islands as a team. Six days were spent on Eydhafushi with the final day being a beach clean up with the community. It’s been great to finally get started out in the field checking home for mosquitoes and teaching people how to carry on mosquito control once we leave. Though we had a rocky start, the community health members we worked with were very helpful in not just being involved with the project but also in getting other members of their community involved. With their help we were able to survey half of the island looking for mosquito breeding sites in tanks, tires, wells and any other spot that seemed suitable for them to thrive.
One particular highlight of the week was presenting a short session and skit about mosquitoes for two groups of students at the local school. They seemed really pumped about it and many said they’d be at our beach clean up that Saturday. They stuck to their word and it turned out that there were a lot more people at the beach clean up than had been anticipated. With the help of about 300 people we were able to bag 1000 bags of cans, plastic bottles and other trash that will later be picked up and transported for recycling.
The kids there were especially awesome, showing up in groups and volunteering their own wheelbarrows from home to help us get trash to the other side of town for collecting. They even stayed until we were done packing up all the trash 8 hours later!
Today was the start of a week on a new island with smaller teams. I’ll be working with Katie and Dan on Maalhos, an island much smaller than Eydhafushi. Volunteer turnout has already been great and I’m looking forward to working with new community leaders.