Washed ashore near Huvadhoo Atoll / by Dimitra Taslim

On a typical Maldivian island, a 'Katheeb' or island chief is in charge of the day-to-day affairs. Hassan is the Katheeb of Keyodhoo island, where I stayed for about 2 weeks to dive and work at a lodge.

This moment was captured just hours after our dhoni (Maldivian boat) stopped working and we washed ashore on an island close to Huvadhoo Atoll. The survival ingenuity of the Maldivians in an island setting knows no boundaries. Within minutes, Hassan and a couple of other boatmen had returned with a bounty of fish from hunting underwater with a sharpened rod. In the next hour or so, Hassan started a fire (pretty much from nothing?!), scaled a basket of fish, found some fruits, cracked open a silly number of coconuts with minimum tools, and weaved a mat out of leaves on which we sat down for a pretty ridiculous dinner.

My only contributions were peeling those fruits and fanning the fire...