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FEB 3 DHANGETHI

Touring The Island

sunny 32 °C

DHANGETHI
I awake to the gentle sound of the surf. Dhangethi is a small island in the Alifu Atoll. Population just over 1000 permanent residents. The Ariston Dhangethi Inn is one year old and the biggest of three places that offer accomodation on Dhangethi. Our rooms are spacious and spotless. The beach front enticing.

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ARISTON DHANGETHI INN

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MY ROOM

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VIEW TO SEA

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SAND AND MORE SAND

After breakfast, the owner of our villa gives us a walking tour of the town. Soon we know everything about town life. We visit the ship builders (building new Dhoni sailing craft), the council office, the police station (they have 6 police but nothing to do), the old mosque reserved for special functions and the bigger new mosque, the football field ( to play soccer), the telecom centre (the Inn will soon have the Maldavian TV station), the teen centre (built from funds from the Canadian Red Cross), the preschool and most interestingly the public school. Education is free to grade 10. We meet the principal and teachers. There are 124 students grades 1 to 10 and 20 teachers and staff. They start school at 6:30 am, have a breakfast break from 8:00 to 9:30 and then go to school to 12:30 pm and are finished for the day. When kids go to university, the whole family moves to Male the capital. We walk past the two restaurants (beach shacks) on the Island and down the Main Street (full of family shops selling shells, t shirts, flowing women's beach dresses and various handicrafts). We visit the central banyan tree (reported to be anywhere from 200 to 600 years old depending on the story), and are told the name of every tree and the 3 kinds of coconuts. We enter the homes of many residents, check out their gardens and say hello. There is a special fenced off beach area at the south end of the Island called "bikini beach" where visitors can sun and swim in bikinis and short swim trunks. On the rest of the Island women need to cover their arms and both women and men need to cover their legs down past their knees even when swimming. The women do not seem as happy and chatty as those on Sri Lanka.

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THE BOAT BUILDERS

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THE SCHOOL CHILDREN

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THE ASS LINE LEADER?

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STREET LIFE SCARCE DURING THE HEAT OF THE DAY

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THE BANYAN TREE

Don and Erik and I spend the afternoon snorkelling the reef. It is very shallow there is a swift current so we have to be careful not to get hung up on the coral. It is great to spend a couple of hours just drifting with the current along the reef - a great meditation just the fish and coral and turquoise blue waters. The water is 28 degrees so is a delight to spend time in. We watch the evening sunset. We settle in to Island life.

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Posted by RDILL 09:20 Archived in Maldives Republic Tagged village life

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