International Workers Day today is a chance to celebrate the sterling work that the Maldives resort staff provide every day of the year. They do every thing from keep us safe on snorkel trips to making sure that every whim is catered for.
One of my favourite all time roles is Four Seasons Kuda Huraa “sunglasses cleaner” which we saw when we visited there (but didn’t get a picture). He even has a name a perfect as his role…“Dr. Shade”
“Mohamed Shareef, 28, has been working at the Four Seasons for almost seven years… I start work by 1:30 p.m., and I walk around and repair and clean guest sunglasses. Most people love to see Dr. Shade. I wear a stethoscope and a white coat. I have some tools. Mostly I just clean the glasses, but I can fix them if I need to.”
Workers of the World Unfog!
International Women’s Day today celebrates the inspirational achievements of women around the world. One such woman is Aishath Rizuna “Rizu”, the Maldive’s first female boat captain trained and appointed by Kurumba…
Rizu herself comes from a line of strong and active women. Her mother and grandmother are very practical and very sporty. Her mother fixes electrical issues and out swam all the boys while her grandmother still climbs trees…
“From her background, Rizu was born and raised in Funadhoo, Shariyani Atoll. Her father is a fisherman so Rizu has sweet memories about the time when her father taught her how to swim, snorkel and fish in a traditional Dhoni boat. At the very young age of four, Rizu’s father taught her how to drive a small boat, and by the time she was a teenager she was selling small boats in the lagoon of Funadhoo. Rizu’s father (Mohamed Nazim) curiously also worked in Kurumba at a young age thirty years ago and has been a great support to Rizu’s evolving career. We are delighted with the support of our twelve male Captains, who certainly gave her all the necessary help needed for her practical training as well as her theory course. Rizu is still developing her skills and knowledge of the Maldivian oceans, which will take some time. Whilst she will continue her role as Majaa Recreation Supervisor, these additional skills can be used in the future from time to time when guests are looking for a female crew.”
Maldives Complete had the opportunity for an exclusive interview with Rizu. Special thanks to good friend and fellow blogger Eileen Brown who helped with the questions. Eileen herself was the first female to be employed as a Deck Cadet in shell Tankers (UK) Ltd and is currently one of the leading promoters of women in the UK technology sector…
- What is the best aspect of your job? – It’s always been a dream to travel around, being a boat captain allows me to fulfil my dream and that’s the most enjoyable part in my job.
- What were your biggest challenges as you trained to become a boat captain? – The biggest challenge I had was that every single part in the boats were so new to me. I felt like I was back in school, where I had to learn everything from A to Z, but with the help of all the people around me I overcame all challenges and I am so thankful to everyone.
- Were there any physical obstacles that you needed to overcome? – I would say it’s more mental challenges that I had to overcome more than physical ones.
- Did your lack of physical strength hinder you much? – The thought “I am a woman and I can’t do that” never even crossed my mind and most importantly everyone around me never tried to put it in my head either.
- What were the attitudes of your classmates as you progressed through your training? – Very helpful and positive comments from the start, from the moment I told them that I am going to take the training as a boat captain. These comments pushed me forward and it’s always great to know how much people appreciate your hard work.
- Did you have anyone that championed and supported you? If so, was it a big advantage? – Honestly and to be fair I have to say everyone, but I am particularly thankful for the support of my Family, the Kurumba Management team including our Fleet Manager Mohamed Shameem and the whole Kurumba team for being with me.
- Did you encounter anyone that was very against you progressing in your career? – No! Only positive feedback.
- Now you are a captain, what are your plans to encourage other women to follow your path? – Well, it’s a choice. This opportunity came to my doorstep, why would I wait? My dream is waiting out there. There’s always one thing I would like to say now and I will always say it: “follow your dream until you reach it, never give up and take your chances”.
- What next for you in your career after your captain job? – It’s a bit too early to decide anything right now. I am enjoying driving the boats around and working towards my dream, which is visiting each and every island in the country.
Aye, aye, Kurumba!
May Day! May Day! Not a call for help (unless you need service from a helpful staffer), but a call to celebrate workers and the contributions they make to our lives and society. Most resorts often go to special measures to support and a highlight the distinctive quality of their staff who are essential to making a guest’s stay the most relaxing and trouble-free. Lori and I always enjoy meeting new folks from the resort and hearing their accounts of living in paradise. In many cases, this internationally renowned destination draws people from all over the world to work here.
I especially enjoyed the Mirihi email newsletter they send out to guests which features a staff profile. A recent edition included intros to Naaz (Front office Agent), Raoof (Front office Agent), Jalil (Front office Agent), Sara (Boutique Hostess), Aulam (Gardener), and Mahir (Gardener). They are all assembled in the group photo together.
On the occasion of labor day, I’ve added yet another category tag to the site – “Maldivian Staff”.
This week the Wildlife Photogrpaher of the Year was announced with an exhibition of the top entries opening at London’s own Natural History Museum. My entry from the Maldives resorts would be Marco Care’s anemone Fish picture (above). Marco is not an itinerant pro dropping in to the locale to pick up some dazzling shots, but a regular member of the Constance Halaveli resort staff. Like most of the pieces that make it to the competition shortlist, Marco’s picture was the product of countless dives experimenting with different filters and settings. And of course waiting for that magic moment when Nemo’s cousin stares you right in the eye.
From a vibrant online ‘tribe’ to one of the most distinctive resort communities – Rihiveli Beach. Another gem from Francisco (from the same email as the sandbank) also highlights the spirit of openness. In this case, the Rihiveli staff quarters.
“Staff quarters are open to the guests and make a sort of real maldivian villages (only men though) that you can actually go to and interact with the maldivian staff. Like having a local island visit on your resort island.”
We do enjoy the abundant hospitality that flows effortlessly from the Maldivian staff who work tirelessly to make our visits memorable and flawless. We enjoy our chats with them to appreciate more about their lives and their community. Rihiveli’s approach of opening up their quarters would seem to make a subtle but significant difference to the resort ambience where everyone on the island is together.