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Climate Change is a huge concern for the Maldives

Maldives hosts meeting on climate change

via Green Citizens.

Maldives Hilton Questions?

Those of you who have had the remarkable experience of dining at the world renown Ithaa Restaurant may want to address the questions posted at the following travel blog.

Maldives Hilton Questions?.

Maldives gets highest number of votes for Human Rights Council

The Maldives has been officially awarded a seat in the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, receiving historic support from the UN General Assembly members. The seat was also highly endorsed by a group of international NGOs, with UN Watch and Freedom House reporting that out of fourteen candidate countries from all regions, only five, including the Maldives, have human rights records that merit a seat in the Council.

via Maldives gets highest number of votes for Human Rights Council.

Maldives may secure a seat on the UN Human Rights Council

HaveeruOnline Beta – Maldives secures UN Human Rights Council membership.

The UN Human Rights Council could become a forum to discuss the environmental issues facing small ocean nations if the Maldives are able to secure a seat on the UN Human Rights Council in the upcoming May 14th election.

Ithaa Undersea Restaurant

It was truly an amazing experience to dine 16 feet below sea level at Ithaa, the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island’s undersea restaurant. The restaurant is designed to provide a 180° overhead view of the surrounding reef and marine life. Ithaa, which means pearl in Dhivehi, is the world’s first all-glass, undersea restaurant. We were served a seven course meal of Maldivian-Western fusion seafood cuisine that was as pleasant to look at as it was to eat.
ithaa web
As an appetizer we were served a variety of Maldivian flat breads called Roshi along with brewed Maldivian Sai tea. Some of the roshi were made with coconut, some were made with bananas, and one had chopped chillies which made it quite spicy.

The cold starter course consisted of three large hors d’oeuvre style creations decoratively arrange on a long narrow plate. From left to right, we had a crab tower with thin chiabatta and truffle mayonnaise along with grilled scallops stacked on a filo pastry with red caviar, followed by an arrangement of yellow fin tuna sashimi with wasabi soy sauce.
cold starter web

The next course was soup degustation. In keeping with the theme of the meal we were served three small helpings that consisted of Pandan leaf flavoured double reduced duck broth, along with chilled gazpacho soup, followed by roasted Maldivian pumpkin soup with sour cream.
soup web

The next course involved lobster! We each we served a complete broiled lobster tail seasoned with tarragon along with bite-sized lobster pieces wrapped in thin dough.
lobster web

For the main course we were offered a choice of either beef or fish. Given the fact that we were sitting fifteen feet below sea-level on a coral reef it only seemed natural to choose fish. We were served braised jack-fish that was covered in a grape, almond and saffron reduction. To compliment the fish, we were served a side dish of truffle green pea mille-feuille.
main web

Dessert involved three small servings arranged side-by-side on a narrow plate in a similar fashion to earlier courses. We had hot and cold chocolate with passion fruit, along with Maldivian banana and chilli mascarpone cream with crushed basil, followed by stuffed coconut pane cake with balsamic reduction
dessert web

The meal concluded with handmade chocolate treats and our choice of coffee or tea.
chocolat web

At the end of the meal Tanya and Fatima were each presented with a pearl to take home as a souvenir as if the meal and the setting wouldn’t have been memorable enough.

Traditional Maldivian Dance


Here is a demonstration of one type of traditional Maldivian dancing performed by a local dance troupe at the Bandos Island Resort near Male.

Dr. Mohamed Waheed

Dr. Mohamed WaheedNot every visitor to the Maldives will have the opportunity to meet the Vice-President which is unfortunate because it is a very interesting experience. Dr. Mohamed Waheed is the first Maldivian to be elected to the position of Vice-President because before October of 2008 it was an appointed position. This is just the first of many impressive accomplishments that can be attributed to Dr. Waheed. He was also the first Maldivian member of parliament to be elected in a competitive “western-style” election and this election win could be at least partially credited with opening up the election process to more recent elections in this country that were considered to be more free and more fair than in the past. Dr. Waheed is highly educated with Master’s degrees in both political science and education plus a PhD. in International Development awarded by Stanford University. Dr. Waheed has worked extensively outside of the Maldives with the United Nations and UNICEF including his 2002 appointment as special representative in Afghanistan where he advised the Government of President Hamid Karzai and coordinated the reestablishment of the education sector in Afganistan. Dr. Waheed was instrumental in enabling more than one million Afgan children to attend school!

Madelyn’s Big Catch

Madelyn caught one of the mid-sized red snapper fish in this basket. Rifqa was lucky enough to catch three fish including this Grouper swimming in the tank.

Night Fishing

Last night we had the opportunity to take part in a night fishing excursion as guests of the resort owners. We left the dock at about 5:30pm so we could be over a carefully selected portion of the reef by sunset. We traveled in a traditional Maldivian fishing boat called a Dhoni.
Maldives June 27 035 web
The scenery was beautiful which more than made up for the fact that almost everyone except Tanya and I caught a fish. Even Madelyn caught a nice size reef fish with a little assistance from the very kind-hearted resort owner, Mr. Shiyam, who could see the obvious disappointment on Madelyn’s face when the fish stole her bait for the third time. We will post video of Madelyn with her catch as soon as possible.
Maldives June 27 043 web
Maldives June 27 047 web

Relaxation

relaxation
Relaxation is the name of the game. Today we stepped into the Sun Spa. The brochure claimed, ” from the moment you enter our Sun Spa sanctuary you will feel the peace and harmony emanating from within…” This claim was actually an understatement! The spa is an open air oasis with covered roofs, waterways and bridges, palms and hibiscus plants. The massage rooms are private with partial walls, greenery and fountains, very unlike our stuffy four walls and ceilings. We had a couples Balinese Massage combining Swedish massage with acupressure. It was a very calming and restoring experience. It felt as if we were walking on air for the rest of the day!