I had to talk about my adventure in the Bahamas in 2001 with the Island Expedition association.
Indeed, a lot of people ask me to go to this Caribbean archipelago for the location and its beaches.
In fact, this association is offering to come aboard their boats and help them with their work, so that they can continue their adventures. The idea is to bring in children from all over the world, to raise awareness of the environment among future generations. It's a fabulous concept.
So I joined the team as a guide, bringing my knowledge of marine mammals and marine biology.
The association was created by two brothers, one of whom lives in Nassau, capital of the Bahamas, and the other in London.
Having lived with one of the brothers for almost a month, I can assure you that the experience was not a good one. We were two people (two Frenchmen) who came to the place, both shocked by this brother. At first, everything was going well, but his demands, his tedious and thankless daily chores became a real ordeal.
For example, before heading out to sea with the group, we had to fetch food for ourselves and the group, and graciously ask for it to be given to us. But it was never easy. Often, the companies began to complain about this merry-go-round and found these games a little "easy". On a day-to-day basis, we became veritable "slaves" to a man who lacked intelligence and personality. He was always on the lookout for sponsors to finance his association, asking everyone for money, advertising for all kinds of companies, with a very specific aim: to finance his organization!
That month, some young students from Colorado, accompanied by their teachers, had paid a lot of money to visit the Bahamas. Unfortunately for them, it was a failure and a disappointment in the face of reality. The logistics were catastrophic and even dangerous. On the first day by boat, there were too many of us on a small sailboat, and after a few hours the engine caught fire. Back to square one and a second trip in a magnificent boat, safer and more secure, at the association's expense (normal). The teachers decided to stop their collaboration following a series of problems, concerning organizational details, thefts, etc. I later learned that a complaint had been lodged against the association.
My friend had already put an end to his agreement with the brother, and stayed in Nassau to visit the island and join a couple of friends on their sailboat. I had decided to continue the trip in the hope of encountering dolphins and holding out until my return to the capital. But it was difficult, as he had a nasty habit of being overbearing, selfish, a liar and a thief. I had to pay him a small amount of money for miscellaneous expenses (which I was obviously going to pay), but he confiscated my camera. I couldn't believe it!
Anyway, as soon as I got back to the capital, I headed off to join my friend and enjoy my last few days on the island. It was wonderful!
I wanted to write this text (perhaps a little late), so as not to volunteer for this association and above all to know which brother will be present. If you ask me for advice, and which one to choose, I'll be happy to give it to you.
But you should know that there are people out there who can take advantage of you to promote their association worldwide.
You have to be careful when it comes to volunteering, and not be forced to do difficult things, or accept being disliked, just because you're volunteering! Be careful, because it does happen. To the detriment of your objective and the environment!
Montreal, Quebec, Canada, December 2006.