In November 2022, I embarked on a transformative journey, leaving my hometown of Kokrajhar for Bangalore. Little did I know that this adventure would take me to the enchanting island of Baa Goidhoo in the Maldives. On the 9th of November, I arrived at Male Airport, a small yet charming location that set the stage for what was to come. With the help of a friend, the following day I found myself speeding towards Baa Goidhoo on a boat, feeling a sense of excitement reminiscent of Luffy from One Piece.
Arrival and Worksite
After a couple of hours, we reached Baa Goidhoo, our designated plot for the project. Darius Dai, Hambe, and other friends warmly guided us to our rooms. Without wasting any time, we headed straight to the build site, where much of the ramp filling and preparation had already been completed. The days began with snorkeling sessions, allowing us to immerse ourselves in the beauty of the surrounding waters. We caught an abundance of fish and savored freshly barbecued meals. Lujain, an amazing cook, even accommodated our preferences by preparing separate dishes for those of us who weren’t avid fish enthusiasts.
Island Life and Camaraderie
The people of the island were exceptionally beautiful and welcoming. One memorable night, we ventured into the waters for a night fishing excursion. As some of us reeled in multiple catches, we marveled at the stunning red and blue hues of the fish. Witnessing the magical sight of planktons illuminating the water created a sense of wonder and excitement. Each evening, different families from Goidhoo Island generously provided us with dinner, showcasing their warm hospitality. This experience was a stark contrast to anything I had encountered in India. While the work was physically demanding at times, with tasks such as filling ramps and pushing wheelbarrows, the camaraderie among the team, including the helpful Bangladeshi helpers, made it feel more like a vacation than a construction project.
Gratitude and Farewell
Throughout our stay, professionals like Shek, Jacob, and Darius guided us, ensuring that everything ran smoothly. The close-knit community on the island made our time there even more memorable. Hambe and Lujain, who extended the invitation to us, had two adorable children, Ayli and Uppi, who even lent their tiny hands to assist with the concrete work. It was an incredibly touching and beautiful experience. I found myself indulging in an abundance of fish, and the presence of large crabs all around the island added to its unique charm. On the last day of the project, amidst a hectic schedule and a 14-hour straight work process, rain poured down. However, with determination, we managed to achieve a clean finish. The following morning, sleep-deprived but fulfilled, we bid farewell to the island, as our return ticket awaited us on the 6th of December.
Expressions of Gratitude
I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Hambe and Lujain for inviting us to Baa Goidhoo, as well as to RSP, Redbull (Maldives), 100Ramps, and Holystoked for making this extraordinary journey possible. The experience left an indelible mark on my heart, forever reminding me of the power of collaboration and the joy that comes from immersing oneself in new and unfamiliar environments.
Building concrete memories in Baa Goidhoo, Maldives was nothing short of surreal. It provided a unique opportunity to connect with nature, experience the warmth of a tight-knit community, and contribute to a project that would leave a lasting impact. This adventure will forever hold a special place in my heart, serving as a reminder of the transformative power of travel, camaraderie, and the beauty that lies beyond our comfort zones.