When you step out of the gated doors, the first thing you feel is a gush of hot air. Then rows and rows of people holding signs, hotels, places, name places….
On the one hand it feels like one is going back in time, on the other hand, you have just realised you have entered paradise when you see the crystal clear waters.
‘Just wait till you see the Islands,’ says Chief. In my mind, this beauty, so capitivating was already more than enough. The boats move like bumble bees, and passengers hop on and off like on a beauty parade.
There was a total sense of casualness yet sense of mission as well.
Couples that have just arrived for their honeymoon, island trekkers, explorers…yet there is also an air of mystery as well.
Perhaps it is the beauty of nature, perhaps it is the school of bright yellow and blue fish surrounding the islands, or the reef sharks that casually pass by.
It was a moment of truth as I looked further across the horizon, one, two three, many more islands.
So near, yet so far.
So close, yet out of reach.
Under neath all the tranquility you get a real sense of urgency, a hustle and bustle…
In Male, what you see is communities of schools, mosques, business people. What they described as fishing communities do exist and see you all that in the early hours of the morning. As fresh fish, fruits like coconut and banana are brought in via the other islands.
The sights and colours are just breath taking.
Walking from one edge of the island to the other takes no more than 30 mins and if your walk is fast you’d probably see the sights of water faster than lightening. As you enter a shop, you sense a dual complexity of impatience, enthusiasm and curiosity.
There is a great sense of pride by the shop keeper, they wanted to tell me all about their handmade goods, and equally they were relaxed when it came to the selling.
I was surprised to see the same salesperson in two separate shops, we start talking, friendships develop.
Accordingly to a friend of mine, they know you’re here and like it when they see people come.
For all the things that I have read about, I start asking with developments in land where does the future hold for such a pristine and mesmerising place.
When you start talking to people from all walks of life, teachers, students, neighbours, you realise that Male is the heart of Maldives and all the other islands and resorts are like the limbs. Most of the locals come to Male for work, or be it then go to resorts because whilst life is good on the island there are few jobs.
It is well known that tourism is one of the largest sector for Maldives. My curiosity is how sustainable can it be for the future and what steps would be taken to ensure nature is preserved.
When we think about how the world is surrounded 70% by water. Maldives capitivates the imagination with all its’ sights and smells.
You cannot walk a few steps without a sense of culture and history woven on the wall. Generations of fishing, trading and community is there.
My journey starts by asking the important questions and these questions include, what would the future of environmental preservation hold?
Keep posted as I detail in the upcoming posts.