The Deep Blue Depths:
Malawi :Week 2
By Ali Bruce of Livingstone Tent
The Quest Intake 1 trip to Malawi has seen a stark contrast between the first and second week: from the windy bay of Senga to the stillness that is Cape Maclear; from vendors desperate for us to buy their goods, to Kurt Pollen and Ciaran Gray sacrificing personal hygiene by desperately begging the vendors to accept their toothpaste and deodorant as a passable means of exchange. The sunrises witnessed during a run on the beach, to the sunsets with a beer in hand.
Our second week in Malawi was spent diving and doing the Open Water Diving course in Cape Maclear. Cape Maclear has provided a surreal backdrop for such an enjoyable week on the beach; the calm, blue waters accompanied by endless sunsets as Night grips on to Day’s hand for longer than it should. Despite the hard work that has been so apparent amongst those doing the course, this week has been fairly languid with evening sundowners on the beach, frolicking in the still waters and spontaneous snorkeling excursions.
The diving course has posed many a challenge, both physical and mental, to various members of our intake. The first, most noteworthy challenge was seen, yet again, by Kurt Pollen who, when it comes to revision, has the concentration span of one of the fish of Lake Malawi. Despite this, Kurt overcame this challenge by passing the course and qualifying as an Open Water Diver. The second most notable challenge was seen in Mr. T’s increasingly evident phobia of either swimming or being underwater as he anxiously asks, “Ali, don’t you get, like, scared of not knowing what’s in the dark parts of the water?” – yet again, this challenge was overcome after many sleepless nights for Mr. T.
The Scuba Diving itself was an experience many of us will cherish and continue to use in the years that lie ahead. The qualification allows us too dive to depths of up to 18m and enables us to dive anywhere considering it be with another qualified diver – a buddy. This experience is new to many of us, and to some, daunting; with 4 dives of up to the maximum depth (18 metres). The descent into the deep blue unveils a new world for many, as the fish of Nature’s Aquarium seem to envelope the timid new divers with utmost comfort.
Although this week was one of the more laid-back affairs of the Quest calendar, challenges were still encountered. These personal barriers – big and small –which were, and continue to be, seemingly impassable are continuously overcome. We continue to challenge ourselves, as we strive to better ourselves. The week we’ve all been looking forward to for so long has come to an end, and so…… we continue on this Quest.