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Maldive Alternative Magazine issue n. 1

June 2010

Claudia, this is me

Hi everybody! This is the fourth issue of the Magazine “Maldive Alternative” and this is the first time the journal is written in English, for our international readers. It’s time to talk about me! Aren’t you curious to know a little more about the girl that always talks about Maldives? Born under the aegis of Leo, 24 years ago, I’m very curious, sensitive and kind; I love traveling and eating chocolate! After five beautiful years in a linguistic school, I attended the Universiry of Languages for one year in Florence but although I had good marks,I realized it wasn’t the right choice for me. So I spent two years working in the export dept of a company where I met very nice people and I learnt to chase your dreams until you have caught them!

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My family has always had a passion for Maldives and I love the idea of sharing it with you: there is not such a joy as helping a fishing village, helping a community, beeing in contact with a beautiful reality. Until now, results has been positive. The majority of people who went to Keyodhoo left there a piece of their hearts. I spend my spare time cooking (special dishes: starters and cakes), taking pictures and creating graphic works. In this issue you will find a lot of new things, lot of articles, I hope you will find them interesting!

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In the kitchen of Ammado, a very shy chef... page 4

Maldivinan Noodles ingredients to serve 4 persons:

aan onion, garlic aa tin of tuna a4 packets of curry noodles achilli, oil aa spoon of tomato paste aMaldivian herb (Ask Idrees for it and keep it in the freezer!)

How to do it: 1 Cut the onion and the garlic into small pieces, and fry them genlty until golden. 2 Add tuna, chilli, Maldivian herb, very important for the perfume and the taste of this dish. In case you don’t find this herb (which is very probable) you can ask me or Sara: we both have it in the freezer and we can send it you. 3 Add the tomato paste and a glass of water. Then add noodles, previously crumbled and mix; add two glasses of water, salt and cook in 2-3 minutes. Noodles are ready! Shouldn’t you find curry noodles, you can add a spoon of curry powder!

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Atoll tour in Safari Boat

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Explore every day different islands!

Special offer August 3-11 -Transfer from/to airport -Safari boat double room accomodation -Full board with soft drink -3 Dives per day -Cylinder hire -Excursions in islands of the atoll

Journey suggested for: -Divers -Ship lovers -Young couples

price for divers: 700 euros price for not divers: 550 euros available places: 4 English and Italian speaking crew

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1° Competition of Maldive Alternative

I need a Holiday in Maldives! Win a Stay in maldives




You can be the winner! Everybody can take part in the competition, which it’s free. The winner will win a one week stay in Keyodhoo island, for one person, with excursions in islands of the atoll, full board, accomodation in double room and fishing excursions. The dates of the stay will be decided together with the winner.

Partecipating is very easy! Give us a good reason to choose you, explain us why you need a holiday more than others! You can express it in different ways: you can send us a video, a picture, an e-mail, a poem, a song... everything that represents yourself, everything that can convince us!

You can send the material to this address: claudia@maldivealternative. com until December 31, 2011. The winner will be chosen within January 10 2011. The material received may be used in our channels (Facebook, You Tube, Maldive Alternative Magazine). Good Luck!

Join the competition and win Maldives!

Eas Day 2010

A trip in memory of Andreas page 10

Andreas was a young guy from Livigno, a ski instructor with sea blue eyes and a smile nobody can easily forget. Andreas was overactive: he taught ski in the winter, rode his bike in the summer and he lived it up. During the winter he was in ski runs from 9 am to 5 pm. After that he used to relax at the apres-ski, and after a quick dinner at home and was out again with friends till late. In the summer, he used to travel... It was a cold October night when Andreas lost his life in a car accident that nobody can forget. For the second year in a raw Ernestino, Lella, Vanessa and all the friends of Ski school, organize a day in his memory. They organize a ski race and bike competition and everybody offers a prize for the participants. Orietta and Beppe (my parents) were there and raffled off a stay in Keyodhoo. The winner is Steffo Stefano Silvestri who will leave for Maldives in the next months.

and the winner is... Hi, I’m Steffo Silvestri, I was born in Livigno and I’m 27; I’m a barman and in the last years I have been shooting ski and snowboard videos, that are very appreciated! My new activity allows me to travel a lot and I can fully enjoy the mountain. During the winter I’m always in Livigno while in the summer I travel and I discover new places... thanks to Orietta and Beppe I will visit Maldives in the next months...

shukuria thanks

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Laura and Michele

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“Rubbish island” is not enough page 14

Thilafushi, called “rubbish island” every day receives 330 tonnes of garbage, coming from the capital and from some resorts.

From “The Guardian” 3rd January 2009 It may be known as a tropical paradise, an archipelago of 1,200 coral islands in the Indian Ocean. But the traditional image of the Maldives hides a dirty secret: the world’s biggest rubbish island. A few miles and a short boat ride from the Maldivian capital, Malé, Thilafushi began life as a reclamation project in 1992. The artificial island was built to solve Malé’s refuse problem. But today, with more than 10,000 tourists a week in the Maldives adding their waste, the rubbish island now covers 50 hectares (124 acres).

It’s a pity when you go to in a desert island and you find plastic bottles, petrol cans, left there by Safari boats after a pic-nic or because of the sea level. All together we may be avble to find a solution to a problem that in the last years has damaged the Maldivian ecosystem.

So much is being deposited that the island is growing at a square metre a day. There are more than three dozen factories, a mosque and homes for 150 Bangladeshi migrants who sift through the mounds of refuse beneath palm-fringed streets. Environmentalists say that more than 330 tonnes of rubbish is brought to Thilafushi a day. Most of it comes from Malé, which is one of the world’s most densely populated towns: 100,000 people cram into 2 square kilometres. Brought on ships, the rubbish is taken onshore and sifted by hand. Some of the waste is incinerated but most is buried in landfill sites. There is, say environmental campaigners, also an alarming rise in batteries and electronic waste being dumped in Thilafushi’s lagoon. (...)

Do you have any suggestions to help the Keyodoo community? Write us!

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the diary of Francesca and Marco When I think about the wonderful week I spent in Keyodhoo, my

mind is full of unforgettable moments. Keyodhoo is a “real” Island, made of nice people, always smiling, far from the opulence of resort. It’s really an alternative holiday, full of moments of real life shared with the local inhabitants.

Let’s start from the beginning… we arrived at Male airport on Monday, 26th April with Meridiana- Eurofly. Idrees was already there, waiting for us just outside the airport! It was really warm and damp and after a short talk with him, we went straight to take the fast boat to go to Keyodhoo. The crossing wasn’t short at all: it took us more than 1 hour and a half due to slight sea and “the captain”. As Idrees said, the captain was not so good in driving the boat! When we arrived at Keyodhoo, there was a sort of “small delegation” of people waiting for us.

They helped us to step out of the boat, shake our hands and greet us. While some of them took care of our baggage, they led us to the gym building, where they gave us flowers necklaces and refreshing coconuts to drink... Since it was late for lunch, they prepared for us a small snack in Ammado’s restaurant. He was our chef during all the holiday! We were already stunned by the kindness of these people! After we spent few minutes at our place “Casa due Palme”, we were already out, doing a sightseeing of the Island with Idrees. He showed us the mosque, the cemetery and the school (close to our “home”), the old harbor and the main “road” (all covered of sand!) of the island. He also told us the main Maldivian fruits and gave us some jarmboude just plucked from his sister’s tree. They are a sort of sugary fruit … a little close to an apple and with the shape of a pear. Then we arrived in the “centre” of the island, we saw the soccer field, the sports center and the main square. We sat on the harbour wall and we looked up to going down of the sun. It started to colour the sky with a palette of gold, amber and red. It was like a show, constantly evolving, with colour real and bright. We stayed there, stroked by this sunset and we took some photos to immortalize this moment. After a quick shower, we went out for dinner to Ammado’s. In his small restaurant he prepared our delicious dinner: barracuda fish grilled, pasta, rice and fruits. Restored from well-eating, we went with Idrees to the sports center, where men played ping-pong. I tried to play Carrom with Idrees, but he is too good at it! Later, we went back to Casa due Palme. We had to turn the air condition on: it’s too hot inside. After a while, cradle by the fresh air, we fell in a deep sleep. We woke up at 4 a.m., since we heard the singing coming out from the mosque. It was the same for 2 days, but then we got used to it and didn’t wake up again in the middle of the night.

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Tuesday 27 th April 2010 Tuesday we woke up early for our first trip to Hulidoo. We had breakfast at Ammado’s where we tasted and loved the piada bread with tuna, onions and coconut. It’s a delicious mix, even if it could sound strange at the beginning… The crossing to Hulidoo was not long and after less than half an hour we got off the boat. The weather was not at its best and the island’s colours where not as astonishing as they could be. Fortunately we would be able to come here again, in a full-sun day. We did snorkelling with Idrees and even if the sun didn’t filter the water, you could easily see a lot of sea-life close to collars. We also saw a moray eel! After the snorkeling, we put on a lot sun-cream and we relaxed above our palma’s parasol. We thought about a short walk around the Island, but Idrees suggested us to swim around the Island.... why not! On the other side of the Island the sea-movements were a little bit stronger, but we were able to complete the “round tour” and we saw also a turtle and a small group of baby sharks!! Their color was really close to sand and you could see them thanks to the black border of their dorsal fin. They were able to move really fast and it seemed to me that they were afraid of us.

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At 5 p.m. we organized our first fishing match! We split up in two teams: women against men. We stopped in few different places, since Alibé found the right one. We were wrapped up by the sunset colors, while the sun went down behind a small island. Everywhere I looked, this show based on an infinite palette of colors gave you nuance more and more vibrant and you could see around with no end. They called us back to order: it was the time to start fishing. Mohamed (Franco for all his friends), Reis and Idrees helped us to know how long we had to keep the thread and when we had to fish out the hook ... A little bit doubtful, we wait for the first fish. I realized that I’m a good fisher-woman or maybe I had just the beginner’s luck. Finally I fished 4 fish, 2 of them at the same time! Taking advantage of my fishing-celebration, Alibè hooked up on Marco’s thread a big piece of concrete! Nobody realized that and Marco thought he caught a big fish (lol!)… ready for the photo, we bursted into laughter when we finally saw the concrete! The final result of the match was 10 to 3 for women! As a matter of fact, we had been able to turn the prediction. In that moment, the dark of the night was around us, together with the sparkling of a lot of stars. The moon, shining more than ever, mirrored itself in the ocean and brought a sort of natural light everywhere around us, showing us the way back to Keyodhoo. Ammado prepared a delicious dinner and Idrees gave us a little bit of “chili”. It’s a sort of digestive, with a flavor of spices and cinnamon.

We tried a little bit of it and it tasted strong of spices! During dinner, we had also the opportunity to learn some new words in dhivehi: Varum niru (very good) for Ammado, Shukuria (thanks), Kikine (hi) even if “ciao” is well known by everybody here. Wednesday 28 th April 2010 When we woke up on that morning, the sky was really cloudy, but we didn’t care and we went out to Ammado’s. We had just the time to go out and it started raining dogs and cats! We were able to arrive not completely wet… It took only the time of breakfast and the rain was gone completely! Today we were going to the slice of sand. The trip took us almost 1 hour and we decided to spend some time on the roof of the boat. The ocean’s colors are amazing: the palette is no-end, and range from dark blue of deep water, to turquoise, to green-blue and to opalescent light-blue! When we saw the small slice of sand, it left us breathless. We saw also a big manta close to the boat. We built a small parasol with some wood-sticks and a pink towel and then we strolled around the beach. We felt so free and happy to be here alone, and that we didn’t have to share this piece of heaven with anybody. The lunch was organized on the boat and gave us the opportunity to screen from the hot sun! We relaxed a little bit more and then we went back on the slice of sand for few more hours of peacefulness. We found a lot of corals and shells with wonderful colors strolling around the beach.

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We took a lot of pictures and left everything in its place. As a matter of fact, I think it’s amazing to find this small “treasures” and bringing them back home in Italy it’s not fair. Maldives are a sort of “open-air” Natural Museum … nobody could bring home a painting from D’Orsay Museum, or not? At 4 p.m. it was time to go back home… we were relaxing in the water and reluctantly we went back to the boat. The way back to Keyodhoo was a good occasion to think deeply about the wonderful place we had been. When we arrived to Keyodhoo, we did a little bit of shopping in Idrees’s Shop. He finally opened “Due Palme Shop” after we prayed him for a while. We bought some presents to bring back home. After dinner, we tasted “supari”: it’s made up of slices of aromatic wood, that Maldivian people used as digestive. He suggested us not to eat them and we followed his advice. The taste was good, even if I didn’t know if they really could help digestion! In the evening there is the soccer match InterBarcellona, broadcasted by a african channel of a big screen in the main square. Here people are really fond of sports, and soccer of course!

end of part one...

Thursday 29 th April 2010 For Thursday we planned to do snorkeling with Idrees and Shabin, his cousin. We stopped in a point where the corals cropped out of water. The ocean floor was really interesting and there were a lot of different kind of fishes. We took some pictures under-water and we enjoyed 1 hour of snorkeling. Then we went back again to Hulidhoo: fortunately the sun shined and everything seemed to be different and more beautiful than the first time we came here.

The colours of Hulidhoo were a mix of clash: the white sand, the lush plants, and the turquoise of ocean: it was wonderful. The sun was really hot and we tried to limit sunburn! After we did a little of swimming, Idrees called us on the other side of the island since he saw few dolphins. I was sadden by seeing rubbish left everywhere inside the Island. How could people spoil such a beautiful place? As we went back to Keyodhoo, we had time to shower and to relax a little. Since it was quite early we went out for a stroll. We took a lots of pictures of roads and babies. People were really gregarious and helpful. Everybody beamed at us and often posed for pictures. One little girl, who was playing with sand, enjoyed herself a lot looking the camera screen. Strolling around Keyodhoo made you felt part of it… People who knows Maldives just from resort loose that all! At 6p.m. we were ready again for fishing. On that day I was not completely lucky, but Marco fished a big “sirano”, of around 4 kg! That was a big smash! Back on Keyodhoo we had a great dinner (as usual!) and Marco played ping-pong with Idrees. He was very good at it and Marco thought he could be a player of the Maldivian National team!

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A very good conversation about MalDives in front of a rare steak and a glass of Chianti wine page 22

Sunday M

May 16th

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Sara, orietta, claudia and michela where: Osteria Dell’Acquolina when: sunday may 16th participants: 24 notes: they all went to keyodhoo and they had a very good time!

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michela, one of the authors of the travel journal

From December to April, for one week or ten days: everyone has a story to tell, everyone has the chance to meet somebody special, everyone will keep alive the memory of this beautiful travel

Michela, Matteo, Francesca, Sara, Fabrizio, Betti, Francesco, Leonardo, Claudia, Valentina, Sara, Gianni, Tommaso, Valter, Marisa, Sandra, Massimo, Piero, Anna, Orietta, Beppe, Gian Marco, Alessandro and me!

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Ambra and Mario

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Maldive Alternative - English Version  

The magazine of Maldive Alternative in English, for our international readers!