Celine first arrived in Nosy Be in March this year, for 6 months, as the Teaching Project Coordinator; but soon after arriving home, decided that she missed it too much and needed to come back. This time she's here for a year as Project Coordinator for Frontier Madagascar. She clearly just can’t get enough of Madagascar! I interrogated her to find out more…
Entries in #conservation (2)
I stepped off the airplane upon arriving in Nosy Be and was instantaneously welcomed by the luscious landscape and the scorching weather. After being met by a Frontier representative and exploring Malagasy culture, travelling alone didn't feel so daunting.
Even now, after my fourth week of volunteering, I continue to be amazed by every aspect of this exhilarating country. From exploring the vibrant traditional markets of Hellville, to dancing with the locals in the rural village of Ambalahonko, as a Frontier volunteer you are immersed completely into an exotic and cultural lifestyle.
In a Teaching, Wildlife, and Diving programme, you get the opportunity to make an impact in both an educational and a conservational sense. In the last four weeks, I have been staying in the Hellville community house along with other Frontier volunteers. The programme has offered such a diverse teaching experience; from visiting a local orphanage for children with polio, to teaching school children and youth club members, I have seen so many students develop in both confidence and ability. Over the course of consecutive lessons, you bond with the students that you teach, you learn their strengths and limitations, and you build upon these.
On my first lesson I taught greetings and it was incredible to see the enthusiasm and concentration on the kids' faces. During recap, it was clear how far even a short lesson can hold an impact on a child's educational development. Particularly with Frontier, I know that when I leave in two weeks, there will be another volunteer building upon the impact that I have made in my last 4 weeks, and creating an impact of their own. With this in mind, it is reassuring to know that Frontier leave an ongoing footprint in the Nosy Be community. So far, teaching students English at youth club has been the highlight of my work. Over the course of three lessons per week, their development of both grammatical and conversational skills has been clear. Touching on ideas of faith, science and creativity in debate style conversation, not only have the students developed opinions of such issues, but as a volunteer, I have learnt so much about their own culture and faith. It is incredible to learn about a culture so diverse from that back home.
On the weekends, community volunteers head to camp in Ambalahonko and stay there until Saturday morning. On the Thursday nights, we play a Frontier versus villagers Ultimate Frisbee game. Despite our brutal efforts, and occasionally having almost double the team members of the opposition, we never fail to lose against the Olympic standard locals. It's so great to be able connect with the locals in such a way, and at Victor’s traditional food buffet every Friday, you experience food at its best and experience a Malagasy party like no other. On a Frontier Madagascar project, every experience is a first. Whether it's jumping from the waterfalls, to dancing at a village baby reveal party, to aiding a child's educational development, Frontier has not failed to deliver the most incredible 4 weeks of my life so far. Now for the next 2 weeks!
By Sophie Hind - Teaching, Wildlife & Diving Volunteer
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