Visiting my Chagossian hertige Yannick Mandarin

My time on Chagos is just amazing, emotional and fun.

My grandparents lived, married and raised kids on these islands. Now I can put a picture to all the stories I heard from my grandfather, Henri Mandarin, as I was growing up.

So far, I’ve visited 35 islands with Peter Carr who’s doing an amazing job out here, protecting all the birds on these islands. Peter and I have spent lots of time together going from island to island to monitor and survey all the bird species.  It’s great opportunity for me to learn from him and at the same time, bring my share of the knowledge that I gained during the Chagossian Environment Programme provided by zslblogs.org.

I’ve met a guy called Gary Fletcher, who has a special project on an underwater camera system, which I’ve taken a big interest in. I’ve helped him to assemble his materials together and we’ve become really good friends. I’m sure we will stay friends even after the expedition is finished.

The weather is fantastic, the crew amazing and the scientists really committed to their work.

This will be an unforgettable memory and story for me. I never thought that one day, I would visit my grandparents’ homeland.

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Author: MarioEG

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