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Waterworld, The Maldives

waterworld

If you are  a tourist, a traveler, or just a person with a deep concern for the planet and the people on it, You should visit the Maldives, while they are still there.

The Maldives are an island country and archipelago which lies in the Indian Ocean, SW of India and Sri Lanka. It has an average ground level of a mere 1.5 meters above sea level. It is the world’s lowest country.

80% of the Maldives foreign currency income is from tourism. That income is seriously taxed these days with the money being directed to a Sovereign Wealth Fund, which is established for the purchase of land in Sri Lanka, India and Australia. The current president has (maybe alarmingly) stated that his country will be totally underwater in less than ten years. His intent with the tourist taxes are to have a place for Maldivians to go to settle that are not refugee camps.

I do not know how the population of the Maldives will get off the atoll but I am sure it will not be on this sightseeing Twin Otter. This is the trip I took the previous photo from. We flew over most of the atoll, and I was impressed with number of resorts built at basically sea level. Notice that that both pilots are barefoot!

We stayed at the second Club Med built in the Maldives. The first was destroyed in the Boxing Day tsunami along with 21 other resort islands. Fourteen islands had to be totally evacuated and six islands were totally destroyed.  Overall the Maldives were saved by the lack of a continental shelf or land mass where the waves could gain height. The tallest waves were reported to be 14 feet.  Small blessings.

enjoy it while it lasts

dinner

Today, this Club Med operates like all the others with free and excellent meals and open bars. We were met at the airport in the capitol city of Male, and taken away on a boat straight to the all inclusive resort. It dawned on me as we left that I never saw a single Maldivian Rifiyaa, the local currency.

The view from our room.

The view from our room. It was really marvelous. A constant reminder that the highest point above sea level on this island was probably less than two feet.

foam party

Club Med threw all the normal decadent events like this foam party by the pool.

If you believe in global warming and a resulting rise in sea levels, go see the Maldives before they become the first country to disappear. I am glad we did. I do not who will go first, these islands or me, but I am glad I saw them.

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2 Responses so far.

  1. Paula Soto says:

    Dear Forrest,
    I hope you remember me. This is Paula from Chile. I worked as a secretary with you and John in Tambo project. It’s been such a long time. I was very happy when I found your blog…it is great. I love Reading your articles.
    I have very good memories of the time I worked with you and John. Hope you can visit Chile again and write an article about my country. Hope you can receive this message since I couldn’t find any email address in the blog.
    Best regards,
    Paula Soto Montenegro
    Puly2001@hotmail.com

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