I have adored dolphins ever since I was a child, so volunteering in Tanzania at the Dolphin and Marine Conservation project was a great opportunity for me. The project focused on research to protect the dolphin population off the coast of Zanzibar.
The project goals are long term – building community and relationships takes time, and those are what are needed for a paradigm shift. I hope the data I helped collect contributes to policy change to make dolphin tourism more sustainable.
I hope the adult English classes I taught contribute to the community building. One of my favorite memories was on a Monday morning out on the research boat: we saw 20+ dolphins and 14 leaps. That was amazing. I liked everything about my experience in Zanzibar – the people, the food, the weather (except the minor physical discomforts of bug bites & humidity).
Watching the tides was incredible – I’ve never seen anything like the high & low tide contrast. At low tide we’d walk nearly 1/3 of a mile to the dolphin research boat, and at high tide we’d be dropped off feet from the project headquarters. Amazing!