9 to 5

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Yes, sir.

I said I was busy busy busy yesterday. Today was busy busy busy busy. Up bright and early to meet the principal of Hithadoo School. Have I been a naughty boy? No of course I haven’t. Hopefully there will be a few more kids being sent from there. Then onto a mechanics to fix a bent fin: the usual approach of mechanics here is to stare in silence at you while you explain a problem, and then go, in silence, to a table where they just hit things with hammers very loudly until it vaguely suits your request. I got that treatment for my fin. Can’t complain since I only paid 20 Rufiyaa, or about a pound in old money.

Then onto lunch with the businessman, Umar, Hasna and this man I had never met before. He seemed nice enough, but about five minutes I sat down, Umar said: “James, have you met X”, I didn’t catch the name. “Umm, no?” “This is the Mayor of Addu.” “Oh, you alright?” was all I could muster. He didn’t seem very mayor-like, he looked quite trendy as it happened. We all talked about rowing and the future of rowing on the island, well I talked about rowing and Umar talked about the future of rowing on the island. Some very exciting stuff all round for everyone involved. On his departure I casually asked the mayor if he wanted to have a rowing lesson some time, he grinned and said “That is a good idea”. Sadly no phone numbers were exchanged, but the island is a small place, I’m sure I’ll see him knocking around at some point.

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Goon n’ the gang

The sun came out for the rowing session and we had plenty of kids for our photoshoot. You can see Hasna and Sharu-u, my glamorous assistants, glammed out in their new red Maldives project Polo-Shirts. The kids were pretty stunned to be shepherded from one photo op to the next, but I reassured them it was all for the greater good, yeah that’s right, kids, the “greater good”. The session was probably the best we have had so far. I’ve decided on a new structure that is to concentrate on one technical exercise per day and make all the kids practice the flip out of it. It worked well as the kids had a focal point for their rowing and it meant I could assess their progress by measuring them all up against each other.

I’m really starting to warm to this fish curry lark. As with any cuisine there are many nuances and variations on the same dish, so I’ve rarely had the same thing two days in a row. I’ve politely demanded that Zally teach me how to make something sometime. I don’t think fish will ever taste the same again. Elsewhere, things are also hotting up as the elections are on the 9th, with a second round, if needed, on the 11th. Election campaigns here are very different to England, tomorrow I will explain more. It’s raining like flip here at the moment and it’s not no piddly rain, when it rains, it rains hard. Prepare for the mosquitos boys.

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The gang and Umar, the businessman.

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