Jes’s First Impressions

First Impressions

I arrived in Madagascar on the 18th July, and there are a few things I’ve learned so far in my short time here.

1) Nothing ever goes exactly to plan.

Actually, this is one I learned before I’d even left my house in the UK (thanks, Air Madagascar). But this is not necessarily a bad thing. In a place as exciting as Madagascar the trips that go wrong or aren’t planned can end up becoming some of the best stories.

2) White people aren’t a common occurrence.

Don’t get me wrong, there are white people… just not many of them. It’s not a negative thing as such, but if you’re white you’ll just have to get used to being called a “vasa” all the time and the fact that you’re at least twice as likely to be followed down the street by a man trying to sell you a silver bangle.

3) The people here are some of the best you’ll ever meet.

The locals and other volunteers alike are all so friendly. In less than a week I felt fully integrated into the Honko family. I mean, they bought me a goose for my birthday… what more could a girl ask for?

4) As for living conditions…

It’s not a 5* hotel with a double bed and ensuite, but somehow we all manage to survive. I share a room with the three other volunteers and don’t “shower” as often as I probably should, but it’s comfortable enough. The remote location of the camp means that the night sky is the most beautiful you will ever see, and the sunrise and sunset are both magnificent.

All in all, Madagascar is full of surprises and I can’t wait to see what it has in store for me in the next six weeks!

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