According to the Maldives constitution, it is a 100 percent Muslim country. Local people celebrate all Muslim holidays. Ramadan ended on the 24th June and the government decided to extend the holiday period of Eid, for a week. Civil servants will enjoy the week long holiday, while most employees at private sector will be back on their schedule within 1 or 2 days of eid celebration. We’re on a 4 day break and decided to travel to Huvadhu Atoll in South Maldives. Huvadhu Atoll is one of the largest natural atoll in the Maldives. In 1962 Huvadhu Atoll was divided into two administrative districts, namely Gaafu Alif (GA) Atoll and Gaafu Dhaal (GDh) Atoll. We’re in the northeastern section of GA atoll, in the island Funamadua. The island is managed by the Robinson Club gmbH, a subsidiary of TUI AG. Robinson Club at Funamadua is an excellent place to be in, if you love marine life, beach and a quite holiday. The island is small but very beautiful with local vegetation. The white sandy beaches and turquoise blue ocean all around is breathtaking. The fresh breeze, the nature’s music created by rubbing palm leaves through the wind and the sound of the waves and the ocean completely rejuvenate me. The marine life is so rich, that my husband is acting like an excited child, after each dive, while going through his underwater videos. Among the dive sites he has been to in GA Atoll, he says “Villingili Kandu” is the best and he “would like to go there again and again and again.”
I’ll try to upload some videos from him when we get home.
Now that I’ve published everything that was left in my draft folder for over a year, I feel I’ve accomplished something on this rainy Friday. 🙂 I need to look into the travel photos from 2014 onwards and refer to the little notebooks I carry (I know I’m old fashioned) write about more recent adventures. I hope it doesn’t take another year or more to do that. Let’s see how it goes! Sometimes it’s difficult to keep up with my goals, but surprisingly last year, I managed to read 11 books. My target was to read a book every month before 2016 ends. The books I managed to read are:
The good earth.
The Maldives Islamic Republic, Tropical Autocracy.
Vaikaradhoo is an island situated at Haadhaalu Atoll, North Maldives. It’s described as a bigger island, which is true when compared with many other islands in the Maldives. Vaikaradhoo is an agricultural island with a small population. A large number of “Vaikaradhuan’s” have been migrating to Male’, the capital city over the years. The trend hasn’t stopped, as the families with younger children moved to Male’ and urban areas near Male to find employment and to educate their children. The few people who live in Vaikaradhoo now are mostly older generation and families who had stayed back for the time being, sending their children to the island school. We visited the island in early January 2012, just before the new academic year was about to begin. At that time, four families with lovely homes and gardens abandon their houses, packed everything they possibly can and depart to Male’ to start a new life. A new life that they would probably be spent in a very cramped ‘apartment,’ paying an unbelievably high rent. The children who were used to explore and enjoy the vast open space without any fear would be “caged in,” in the tiny living space the family share for their survival. The parents we spoke said the sacrifice they were making is to make their children educate and give them a better future. I felt the psychological and social implications were overlooked. Elderly people in the island kept themselves busy planting vegetables and fruits in small plots of land they owned or assigned to them. Small-scale farming in the island keeps them busy and provides them with fresh fruit and vegetables for their consumption. As they do not have a good population within the island to sell their products on the island, nor do they have a proper transport and distribution system to send their crops to more populated islands. According to some farmers, the only choice left for them is to take their products to the nearby island, Kulhudhuffushi and sell it without the market price.
This short video clip (I’m sorry the video is unedited) is a recording made, during an hour-long boat ride in 2010 in Addu Atoll, south Maldives. It was the first time I saw dolphins in such near vicinity. The actual audio is not very pleasant to listen to as some of us were laughing and screaming from excitement.
Last weekend we visited Thinadhoo, a local island in Vaavu Atoll. It’s a beautiful small island with a small population. Currently, less than a hundred residents live there. According to the island folks whom I talked, the majority of the people have migrated to the small, congested capital of Maldives, Male’ City. Those who have migrated, do visit their abandoned home and family members during the festive seasons and long school holidays. It’s quite common for islander’s to relocate to the capital, in search of jobs and to educate their children, as most islands lack good schools and job opportunities. During our two days stay in Plumeria Boutique Guest House, I noticed that few of their employees were Maldivians. If the youth of Thinadhoo returns to their native land, probably they can take over the jobs now filled by Srilankan’s, Bangladeshi’s and other nationalities. Our short stay in the island was a good experience, a very relaxing and a pleasant one. Plumeria’s facilities and services were outstanding, beyond our expectation. We wish to go there once again, hopefully soon.