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Crazy  Carnival

Last week we found out that Frontier had been lucky enough to get invited to their first Malagasy festival! Throughout the week we had many dance practices at the neighbouring village. Brushing up on our Malagasy dances moves. Except for Orsi, who was born a natural Malagasy dancer. After a couple of evenings spent at the local village, dancing between washing lines and with their adorable dogs, we had the moves down!

As the day came closer, you could sense the excitement build up, everyone was trying to find a frontier shirt to wear for the day and make sure they knew the dance moves.

On the day of the carnival we loaded all the essentials onto the morning boat, taking with us: all of the frontier camp volunteers, village locals, two large speakers, a generator and loads of enthusiasm. Following the real life Tetris simulation, we set off for Hellville albeit slowly.

In Hellville, we went straight to the community house to meet all the other frontier volunteers who were also full of energy and ready to party! Before we set off to join the carnival we had to beautify our clothes and us. We used paint to theme ourselves and wrote Malagasy slogans, relating to our projects, on our backs. My shirt had, “reduce, reuse, recycle”, some of the others included: “Keep our forests beautiful” and “eat big fish, not small fish.” The slogans were all personalised to the person who was wearing the shirt.

After all this preparation we were now ready to party! It was a swelteringly hot day, averaging somewhere around 35°C, I guess that’s better than 10°C and rain. Firstly we had to walk through the crowds to the start of the carnival, to find our truck, equipped with the speakers and our generator. Now the fun was allowed to begin! We had been taught to dance in a 3-line formation, it looked somewhat like an army formation of frontier volunteers.

Following our pickup truck we rocked the local dance moves all through the afternoon. Mimicking the locals from the village. We had the locals from the youth club join us, as well as the people leading our dancing, it felt like a great big multicultural family.

The crowds were insane, lining every possible street we danced along, cheering and recording us. This made the experience even more enjoyable, I think we all had a great time.

By Leon Boehmer - Madagascar Conservation Volunteer

Find out more about Frontier Madagascar Projects.

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