21 November 2008
By Justin McNesky
Justin McNesky training Malagasy students.
The first phase of the project consisted of training and certifying local Malagasy students from several institutions in Madagascar. The students, Eric, a sustainable tourism specialist, Anita, an archaeologist, Richard, a GIS specialist, and Seraphan, a historian, were chosen to participate in SCUBA diving certifications due to their interest in protecting Madagascar's submerged cultural heritage.
The dive training was conducted by Justin McNesky, a NAUI certified instructor and current Senior Diver with Southeastern Archaeological Research, Inc. (SEARCH) in Jonesville, Florida.
Malagasy students upon completion of their dive training.
The dive training consisted of five days of classroom and in-water skills concluding with their open water certification. The students and the instructor were challenged by the language barrier (French, Malagasy, and English), but managed to work through the course. The students were tenacious and passionate about learning such a skill to aid in their futures here in Madagascar.
This aspect of the project is extremely important and was a major goal of the project's founder, Richard Swete, whose visions are being realized through giving back to Madagascar through the Serapis Project.
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