Wot you lookin’ at

31/10/13 Breakfast was not fish curry; it was bread and peanut butter. Dinner was not fish curry. Instead, it was fish-head curry. I’m not sure if it would catch on in the UK. I appreciate that it’s good to get the most out of your fish, but there really isn’t much mileage in scraping out an eye ball or some meat from behind a cheekbone, especially when you choke on some bones like I did. Also, there was this big strange spongey piece in the curry which I was told was “fish egg”. I was genuinely stunned to find out that this fish lays eggs in its face, although there is a very large chance I misunderstood the sense of what my chef was saying. “The egg” was probably the best bit.

My mosquito bites have not improved. I found this bracelet to wear which apparently is a one-stop shop solution for repellent. I have three bites under the bracelet. *slow applause*. But I have now bought a local cream and will give that a spin tomorrow. Speaking of spinning, I kicked my bike into gear today and rolled around a small portion of the island. It’s quite hard to roll around quickly because


there are so many bumps and the bike is really slow. But by far the best place I rolled to was the beach. Now being on a long, thin island there are two sides with a lot of sea. The north side is where I am and will be doing some rowing, and 700m or so south of me is the south edge of the island. That side is not sheltered by the coral reef so the sea is rough and the beach is very active: there are no people, but plenty of big crabs; one gave me a fright when he approached my bike wheels lustfully.



Later, over dinner at Habeeb’s house, we discussed in further detail what I will be doing. My main goals are to find at least 2 athletes, who both enjoy the sport and have potential, and to train a “counterpart” Maldivian who maybe one day will be able to coach unaided. The first of these two should be straightforward enough, but the second, in Habeeb’s view, will be far tougher: the main issue he anticipates encountering is the desire for local people on Addu to move away and row abroad. The whole point of sport is to bring communities together, so the most important thing is finding someone who is as committed to establishing rowing on Addu as Habeeb is. I am told we shall start rowing tomorrow, between 4pm and 6pm (the sun sets every day at this time). Fingers crossed we do.





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