Missouri State University
Southeast Asia Study Away Program
A blog about participants’ anticipations and apprehension before, during and after the program.

Rainy Day

Today we had plans to go to a sandbank and have BBQ fish for lunch. We woke up and had breakfast, the same as yesterday’s breakfast. However it started raining and we had to wait for it to clear up before we could take the boat out. But it never stopped raining. It would clear up for a little bit but then started raining again. Therefore, Kourtney, Catherine and Miranda and I hung out in the common area and played cards and heads ups. We ate lunch at the Guest House. It was a good lunch, noddles with chicken. The flavor was great. After lunch we tried to go to the beach to get some sun but it kept raining. I ended up taking a 3 hour nap and it was much needed. Tonight we were hoping for BBQ fish and chicken for dinner but it kept raining. Even though it rained most of the day it was still nice to relax and hang out. It was definitely a lazy day. 

Posted in 05-May 2017 | Leave a comment

First day in Maldives

Our first day in the Maldives, specifically Fulidhoo, did not dissapoint. After breakfast we got in some much needed R&R time. I have missed the beach dearly.

In the evening we played sand volleyball with the locals and I actually had a blast! We mixed up the teams and all the locals were forgiving for the non-volleyball players of the group (me). By dinner time we were more than ready to eat. We returned to Cafe Mosaic for another helping of Nasi Goreng, which was last nights’ favorite, and this time we ordered some chicken noodles as well. It was delicious once again and satisfied our hunger. After that we bought some dessert at the convience store for something sweet and called it night. Overall, I had a great first day.

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First full day in Maldives

We woke up to the beautiful view of the ocean. The island is so pretty. We were all served omelettes, toast, and watermelon for breakfast. It was a pretty decent breakfast. After breakfast we went to the bikini beach. We have to go to a certain beach area because the Maldives are an Islamic State and we must swim in our swimsuits in a secluded area. It started as such a nice day soaking in the sun. But then a stormed rolled in from the sea and we all headed back to the guest house. We eventually went back out but it rained again. We had to wait until sun down to eat dinner due to Ramadan. We went to a local cafe called Cafe Mosaic. It was delicious. Catherine, Miranda, Kourtney and myself all shared a few dishes. The best dish that we had was Nasi Goreng, it’s a noodle dish wish fish. It tasted great. Besides the rain it was great first full day in the Maldives.

Posted in 05-May 2017 | Leave a comment

Malé to Fulidhoo

We had a ride on a speed boat from Malé to an inhabited island named Fulidhoo, population is about 490, which is very concentrated in one small island which has dimension only larger than a football stadium (length 0.42 miles, width 0.124 miles). It takes 45 minutes to get to the Fulidhoo island.

Early morning today Dr. Alex and I explored the whole island and we noticed the other side of this island is all trash and garbage both from here or cast away from other islands. The global warming and climate change do really affect the ecology here, small orgasm living things live on can and plastics. These are what activists call the “new sand” — plastic that has broken down into smaller and smaller pieces, and then become part of the shoreline. Plastic production has surged in the past 50 years and could double again by 2036. 15 million tons in 1964. 311 million tons in 2014. These smaller particles are what end up in the food chain. The smallest ones, called nano-plastics, sink deep into the ocean and can end up in plankton. Larger pieces, known as micro-plastics, float in a soup, suspended in water, and are eaten by fish. The fish then get eaten by “apex predators” higher up the food chain — including humans. That is the reason why there are more and more people have cancers.

Statistically, there are 8 million tons of plastic trash leak into the ocean annually, and it’s getting worse every year. Americans are said to use 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour. It is unbelievable sad since people become so ignorant about global warming and our ecology crisis are really happening around us but we do not bother to really see and understand that?!

Posted in 06-June 2017 | Leave a comment

Day 11th – May 30

The rain in Maldives comes strong and fast when we landed on Maldive MALE airport, it had been rained all morning. The views is magnificent. You could see tiny islands and sand bars from the plane and the water there is blue. just like a paradise in the Indian Ocean. It was made up by excellent cater service by Sri Lanka Airline, even though the flight was only 1 hour, they served us lunch and drinks, which we do not have on American airlines for any short flights.

This month is Ramadan month (started on May 26 and ended on June 24th), which is the holy month of Muslim. While fasting from dawn until sunset, Muslims refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking, and engaging in sexual relations. Muslims are also instructed to refrain from sinful behavior that may negate the reward of fasting, such as false speech (insulting, cursing, lying, etc.)

Posted in 05-May 2017, 06-June 2017 | Leave a comment

The locals

The locals in the Maldives are amazing! They are all so nice and speak great English! You can tell they are simple people that live a simple life. The worries and stress are minimal. They live the kind of life I envy. On top of that hey play volleyball and are amazing singers and dancers. They invited us to play a game of volleyball and they were surprisingly very good! We got to see them dance and sing later that night. They sang for about an hour and encouraged us to dance with them. It was an awesome experience and I’m glad we were able to experience the culture.

Posted in 05-May 2017 | Leave a comment

5/30/17 – Day 11

May 30 –
Day 11 was a day of travel. We left Columbo in Sri Lanka and headed to the airport. We arrived in the Maldives to breathtaking views and a beautiful ocean. It was everything the pictures looked like and so much more! We got on a speedboat to go to our island, which was fun and exciting at first but after 30 minutes on the rough sea I started feeling sick and couldn’t wait to reach land. Once we got to our island we put our stuff in our rooms and were excited to explore our new home for the next couple of days! We visited the beach, learned more about the island, and had dinner at the local café – which was AMAZING! All in all, it was a good day and I was excited to see what the rest of the trip had in store.

Posted in 05-May 2017 | 4 Comments

Arriving in Maldives

I was sad to leave Sri Lanka but excited to go to the Maldives. When were arriving in the Maldives the views were beautiful. You could see tons of tiny islands from the plane and the water was so blue. When we landed it started to rain so we had to wait on the plane, I got so anxious I just wanted to get off and see the blue water. I got very excited for the Maldives stamp in my passport. Mrs. Pham arranged for a speed boat to pick us from the airport. The boat ride was a lot of fun, Kourtney saw a dolphin and some flying fish. When we arrived at the island we saw the most beautiful water I had ever seen. It was clear and turquoise. The guest house we are staying in is right by the ocean so we can see it when we wake up. I’m so happy to be in Maldives so I can relax every day!

Posted in 05-May 2017 | 1 Comment

Sri Lanka —-> Maldives

I was so very sad to say goodbye to Sri Lanka. I loved the tour company we went through and the tour guides we were assigned. They made it very hard to leave.

However, the plane ride from Sri Lanka to Maldives was fantastic! They fed us even though the flight was only an hour. The flight was smooth for the most part; I felt safe. The plane was full of honeymooners and people who were just genuinely excited to arrive in The Maldives which made it hard for my mood to be anything but excited as well. Upon getting there we took a speed boat to Fulidhoo which was probably the roughest part of the trip. We sped through harsh waves and could feel each one. We saw a sunken ship which was pretty cool! Once we got there though, there were no complaints. The water is bright turquoise and just as you would expect it to look. The sand is white. The palm trees are tall and luscious. To put it simply: The Maldives are brimming is beauty that only islands can exude and I am looking forward to my time here.

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Sri Lanka-Maldives

Today we left Sri Lanka and headed to the Maldives. I was very impressed with Sri Lanken airlines, I thought the flight was very smooth and everyone was so nice. Then we finally made it to the Maldives! We landed on Male and took a speedboat to Fulidhoo. The speedboat ride was really cool but it got a little rough the closer we got to our island and it was about an hour ride maybe a little longer. We got to our island and the water was so blue and beautiful…it was something like I’ve never seen before. No other beaches I’ve been to could compare. We walked to our guest house and got settled and then took a tour around the island. This “tour” only took about 15 minutes because the island is so small. And we got a chance to see the bikini beach which is the only area we can wear our bikinis. Otherwise we have to be covered up. Something interesting was we are the only tourists on the island at this time so we have the whole bikini beach to ourselves. Overall it was a good introduction to the island!

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