Veloma Madagascar

Goodbye Madagascar. It has been three incredible months. Unfortunately time went by way too fast and it’s now time to go back home.

I really enjoyed working in the field to help the research and conservation of the critically endangered Greater Bamboo Lemur. Being so close to these animals, observing them in their natural environment and learning their reactions to different situations was very interesting. Our five guides were great, we joked around a lot, but they never left us lost in the forest, they taught us the paths through the vegetation, showing us the edible plants and sharing their fruits with us. They were also knowledgeable and helpful during the work, teaching us how to use the ATS equipment to track the animals, how to use the GPS to mark down the animals’ territory and how to note down the observations.

Living so close with the local community also taught us a lot about their culture and we easily adapted to living in a way so different from what we are used to. During the last couple of weeks I realized how much we had integrated in local community and learned about the local costumes. Walking along the road we recognized the people working for MBP and their families, and they always smiled and waved at us. When not in the field, we started wearing lambas and often the local women commented on how nice we were dressed. We also learned a bit of the language: we were able to greet people on the streets, ask how everything was going, ask for prices and bargain to lower them.

During the weekends we had the chance to visit this beautiful country, although only a small portion of it. Places so different between them: from the large cities of Antananarivo and Fianarantsoa, to the rocky hills of Anja Reserve and Ambalavao, to the forests of Ranomafana and Vatovavy, to the ocean village of Mananjary. And still, Madagascar has so many incredible places left to visit.

I will have to come back, to explore the rest of the country, and to say hi to all the friends I made during my time here.

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