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  • Writer's pictureAislinn Shivakumar

Bright Minds and Sea Stars

Lots to talk about this week, from brilliant young minds to the wonders of the ocean. We’ve hit the winter season now – in terms of guests that is, decidedly not the weather. It’s great to meet so many new people but I have to say, some of the children I’ve met on this island so far have just blown me away with their intelligence and drive to learn about sustainability and the environment.

Soneva Fushi attracts a certain type of family it would seem. A lot of the families I have encountered are intelligent and close knit and encourage the growth of their children’s budding intelligence. The one that springs to mind is Bella who I got to spend last week hanging out with.

You know when you meet a child and their mind just dazzles you? Bella was charming and funny, (I totally walked into every one of her jokes,) as well as vibrant and extremely clever – a fabulous role model for her little sister. Her drive to learn was a breath of fresh air and seeing how her parents helped give her the freedom and foundation to build on her interests clearly indicated where her shine came from. From writing books to narrating stories on YouTube (at DreamyStoryTellers), her range will only grow as she does.

And the wonderful thing is, Bella isn’t the only child on this island that I’ve met with this bursting curiosity and clever little mind. Soneva Fushi has a way of enriching the learning experiences of children without locking them in a classroom and it stems from the fact that there are so many intelligent hosts hired into the staff here, willing to share their knowledge and be pushed to think and learn further themselves, that they naturally spill that knowledge onto those willing to listen and learn.

Alas, The Rai Family have now moved onto another resort to continue their fabulous holiday before they return home, but I hope to see them and Bella again before I leave in April and see what new creations she’s come up with – whether it be a new audio piece or written a new book. (I have to say, I was so impressed when she gave me her book to read. As a novelist myself, I was delighted to read something so well written from someone so young!)

But now, in other news, away from the guests and onto host life, I have to share my experience last night of seeing Sea Sparkle! If you haven’t heard of it before, Sea Sparkle – or Noctiluca scintillans – is a dinoflagellate that glows with bioluminescent when disturbed. Standing at the edge of the shore at night, Sea Sparkle is a moment of night sky falling into the oceans. The surf is what disturbs the dinoflagellate and it means that the waves literally sparkle like stars, blinking in and out with a cool, eerie blue and hemming the tide as it washes in around your feet.

There are photos and videos online, of course, but it won’t ever really compare to seeing it in person. And then, looking up to the sky, it’s such a far reach from what I see in the UK. I’m lucky for where I lived in the UK for much of my life; there was limited light pollution so I could see the star fields. However, in the UK it’s a beautiful but flat surface of stars.

Here in the Maldives, you can actually see the depths of the universe. Planets and galaxies drifted overhead as myself and my friend watched for shooting stars, unable to decide whether to focus on the Sea Sparkle or the cosmos. To be able to wonder over to the beach, tip your head back and literally see a galaxy is something else.

It’s an incredibly relaxing, grounding moment. I can’t say that I felt small in the face of the universe as other people describe, but it brings a comfortable, contended peace, standing in the surf as little fairy lights illuminate around your ankles and falling stars race overhead.

Until next time


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Jan 06, 2023

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