Interesting fact about yourself? I am an extremely non-identical twin! My curly dark brown haired, green eyed brother works hard running business workshops based out of a London office – a rather different environment!
Entries in #explore (8)
This week at community we took some time out to go exploring the islands around Nosy Be. Nosy Iranja was our first trip which got off to a great start as we spotted a large group of spinner dolphins. So we quickly grabbed our snorkels and fins and went swimming with the dolphins.
When I told people I was going to an island in the middle of nowhere about a gazillion miles from home for one month with one working knee, they mostly called me crazy but after only 2 weeks in this paradise I only wish I’d booked to stay longer.
On arrival at the rather isolated out-of-town area of Hell-Ville that houses the Sainte-Marie orphanage, at first it is difficult to believe that this is really the correct location...
So the final week of my stay has come around. You only just heard of my last three weeks, but I just thought I’d update you on the plans of this week.
Over the Easter weekend, we decided to visit a few famous landmarks. The first stop was a visit to the ‘Sacred Tree’. This tree is mahousive! A massive trunk entangled with more trunks around it. Definitely a confusing thing to look at and figure out. To complement the tour, a complementary drink was offered. There was a choice of vanilla or lemon rum or cinnamon tea. Vanilla rum is definitely a drink to try out here!
The next stop was the waterfall. The journey up to the waterfall is eventful. At one point, seven human beings were pushing a mini-van up a hill... An experience you will undoubtedly hear. Once up the hill, it’s a mini-trek down the hill to get to the bottom of the waterfall. Once down, it was such a beautiful sight. So calm and relaxing and peaceful. Many people went for a swim in the waterfall. A lovely spot for a picnic! The next stop was driving past the crator lakes and up to the top of Mount Passot. Here I was able to get a full 360 degree view of a stunning sunset over the whole island and it’s surrounding islands. Definitely worth a visit if you’re here.
Easter Monday was just one big party day for the whole island. Everyone flocks to the island and just parties. The villages come together, some go for a swim, some play games, some just relax. Many people take picnics and there is a lot of drinking and dancing until sunset. Malagasy people know how to throw a beach party!
Yesterday we had a power cut, something which is not uncommon. This made planning for Youth Club an exciting task. The lesson was mainly planned on a laptop, which inevitably died, so in record-breaking time we had to replan an entire two-hour session. Once this lesson was planned, we had to deliver it. An issue which hadn’t crossed out minds until we arrived at the venue was that there would be no electricity at the youth club. So we improvised teaching under torch-light. Pleased to say, Youth Club was successful that night.
Eventually this morning the power was back on. The streets were buzzing again. The plans are to prep lessons for when schools starts, finish planning the curriculum for this school year and develop a curriculum for Youth Club. Even though this week seems to be buried with a major amount of admin, I still plan to visit the orphanage today and tomorrow. Some friendly faces to keep up the spirit in the last few days.
Just a final few pointers about life out in the town:
- When there’s a power cut, the stars look spectacular. As long as there’s no overcast, you could spend forever just admiring at how beautiful and clear they are. It’s very easy to find your bearings here.
- There are three main roads and two main marker points. Almost impossible to get lost!
- The community house is quite local and in a central location. Pretty views and it’s a spacious area.
- The market is aromatic and there are a variety of tourist shops/local stalls. Street food is a must.
- SO much variety. Life here is what you make it.
By Maria Miranda (Beach Conservation volunteer).
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