Photo of the Week
Photo Title


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    [post_content] => Greetings Friends and Family of Madagascar Students!

We are on our second night of homestay in Ambatomanga. The students seem to really be enjoying the village and spending time with their families. We went to a nearby market today where students practiced their language skills, then we farmed with some homestay families.
We do not have access to wifi while we are here (the office is posting this on our behalf), but you can expect to see some student field notes as soon as we have access. We leave Ambatomanga on August 1st then head to Andasibe for Transference.

Instructor Team
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SUMMER: Madagascar

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Update from Ambatomanga

Briana Nowak,SUMMER: Madagascar

Description

Greetings Friends and Family of Madagascar Students! We are on our second night of homestay in Ambatomanga. The students seem to really be enjoying the village and spending time with their families. We went to a nearby market today where students practiced their language skills, then we farmed with some homestay families. We do not […]

Posted On

07/27/16

Author

Briana Nowak

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    [post_date] => 2016-07-26 10:42:31
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    [post_content] => Greetings Friends and Family of Madagascar Students,

I just received a phone call from the Madagascar instructors that the group is heading up to the sleepy village of Ambatomanga for the group's second homestay. Our homestay families will introduce students to the town’s schools, clinics, churches, and gathering places. The group will learn local cooking, visit rice paddies, buy fruits and vegetables at the local market, and practice Malagasy in town, and go on day hikes.

Internet communication isn't always reliable in Madagascar, but we hope to hear more updates from the students and instructors soon!

 
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SUMMER: Madagascar

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Madagascar Group on their way to Ambatomanga

Jenny Wagner,SUMMER: Madagascar

Description

Greetings Friends and Family of Madagascar Students, I just received a phone call from the Madagascar instructors that the group is heading up to the sleepy village of Ambatomanga for the group’s second homestay. Our homestay families will introduce students to the town’s schools, clinics, churches, and gathering places. The group will learn local cooking, visit rice paddies, buy fruits and vegetables at […]

Posted On

07/26/16

Author

Jenny Wagner

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    [post_content] => I like lemurs.

The breathtaking diversity of nature that we experienced by walking it, swimming in it and almost flying in it (check the attached photo) was unforgettable. We would hike for hours under the scorching sun through the dry mountains of Isalo and find magical oases of bright soft sand a ice-cold water, flowing from dreamy waterfalls. This little paradises in middle of the desert-like nature would have only the cheeky Malagasy lemurs as their permanent citizens. The lemurs were so calm in these oases that they would walk just in front of you without a single care to give. I guess that was how all the animals lived around the world before we went berserk on making cheeseburgers.

When a little ringed tale lemur walked in front of me on the second waterfall we visited, I felt free and respected. It was strange. It is impossible for me today to perceive a world in which lemurs could just walk in front of you as if you would not scare them or threaten them. I always thought that it was "natural"; for other animals to be afraid of humans, but that ringed-tailed lemur exposed my instinctive ignorance in believing that fear is "natural". Strangely, this reflection mode that the oasis lemur made me enter made me think about my elementary school History teacher. My entire class, including myself, would be afraid of her. She would scream and throw stuff around the classroom, successfully making us be afraid of her ... and also hate her. (She was fired, all good.)

Fear and hate usually go along. I don't want to be that teacher. Not to lemurs, or to anything thing else. I like lemurs, and I would love a world in which we are all worth of their respect.
    [post_title] => The Magic of Isalo: Lemur Respect
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The Magic of Isalo: Lemur Respect

Besart Copa,Best Notes From The Field, SUMMER: Madagascar

Description

I like lemurs. The breathtaking diversity of nature that we experienced by walking it, swimming in it and almost flying in it (check the attached photo) was unforgettable. We would hike for hours under the scorching sun through the dry mountains of Isalo and find magical oases of bright soft sand a ice-cold water, flowing from dreamy waterfalls. This […]

Posted On

07/21/16

Author

Besart Copa

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    [post_content] => We've received an update from the Madagascar instructor team that the trek in Isalo National Park is going well and everyone is healthy and happy! More from the group when they return to internet connectivity in a few days.

-Dragons Admin
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SUMMER: Madagascar

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Madagascar trek going well

Jenny Wagner,SUMMER: Madagascar

Description

We’ve received an update from the Madagascar instructor team that the trek in Isalo National Park is going well and everyone is healthy and happy! More from the group when they return to internet connectivity in a few days. -Dragons Admin

Posted On

07/20/16

Author

Jenny Wagner

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    [post_content] => Greetings from Ranohira!

We all stayed in homestay families. We shared our joy, needs, poop scale, other survival needs and interesting stories. We all learned to care for and to learn from one another in different ways. We explored different places and took some time to enjoy some landscape one the way. It has been a great experience and journey and words are never enough to describe how amazing to see students engaging with the community members. Let the photos recount the rest.
All the best!

Madagascar I-teamimage-16-07-16-10-02-1 image-16-07-16-10-02-2 image-16-07-16-10-02-3 image-16-07-16-10-02-4 image-16-07-16-10-02-5 image-16-07-16-10-02-7 image-16-07-16-10-02-8 image-16-07-16-10-02-9 image-16-07-16-10-02-10 image-16-07-16-10-02-11 image-16-07-16-10-02-12 image-16-07-16-10-02-13 image-16-07-16-10-02-14 image-16-07-16-10-02
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A Photo Update

Instructor Team,SUMMER: Madagascar

Description

Greetings from Ranohira! We all stayed in homestay families. We shared our joy, needs, poop scale, other survival needs and interesting stories. We all learned to care for and to learn from one another in different ways. We explored different places and took some time to enjoy some landscape one the way. It has been […]

Posted On

07/17/16

Author

Instructor Team

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    [post_date] => 2016-07-16 10:33:10
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    [post_content] => Our week in Mangily was truly a unique experience, and saying goodbye to our homestay families today before leaving the village was a bittersweet occasion for everyone.

During our wonderful week in Mangily, I had the opportunity to have my first ever bucket shower, which was much needed afer a swim in the coral reef earlier that morning. My homestay mom gave me a bucket full of warm water and a cup. I was taken to the back of our compound to our community shower. It was getting dark outside, which I was very thankful for, since our bucket shower barely reached my chest. While I was showering, neighbors kept passing by to get to their houses, and waved "Salame" (Hello) to me and smiled. I thought to myself: why are these people talking to me while I'm trying to wash myself? It was quite funny. I was almost finished my shower when my soap fell on the ground and got covered in dirt. In the moment I was so annoyed because I just finished washing and then was splashed with dirt again, but now I laugh thinking back to that. Elsa's homestay mom also decided to visit me in the shower to make sure I was doing alright, so that was interesting to say the least. It was a funny experience...
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SUMMER: Madagascar

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First Bucket Shower

Paola Karapataki,SUMMER: Madagascar

Description

Our week in Mangily was truly a unique experience, and saying goodbye to our homestay families today before leaving the village was a bittersweet occasion for everyone. During our wonderful week in Mangily, I had the opportunity to have my first ever bucket shower, which was much needed afer a swim in the coral reef earlier […]

Posted On

07/16/16

Author

Paola Karapataki

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    [post_content] => One of the day trips we embarked on in Mangily was whale watching on pirogues ("lakana" in malagasy). Because we had to sail a ways out to reach our whale watching destination, we all met up at 5:30am, most (all) of us not anywhere near awake. The benefit of this was that we got a gorgeous view of the sunrise as our boats sailed out into the ocean.  The few of us who had decided to bring our cameras snapped maybe a few too many pictures.
Once we arrived to our destination through a combination of sailing and rowing, it became a waiting game.  A few of us (my boat especially), decided to practice our whale calls to attract the whales towards us. We saw a whale tail in the distance not much later, and although some may say it was a coincidence, I'm not so sure. As soon as we saw the whale, a frenzy of paddling commenced as all four boats rushed to get closer to the whale. This became a process: spot a whale, row frantically towards it, watch it disappear back into the ocean, and repeat. But although repetitive, it was never once boring.
We came very close to the two whales we were following on two occasions. For one of these times, my boat was closest and our boat crew started paddling hurriedly backwards in fear of the whale coming too close and possibly going underneath the boat. Our boat would have been in no way competition for the massive animal we were observing.
After following the whales around for a few hours, we slowly made our way back to shore, letting the boats drift slowly. Some of us decided to go for a quick swim in the outrageously clear waters, while the rest of us relaxed with our feet in the water, gazing at the beautiful, massive island in front of us. We observed many local fisherman spear fishing or collecting their nets, and simply enjoyed the slight peaceful sway of the calm waters. It was truly an amazing experience, and as we continue on our journey through the red island, I know there are many more to come.
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SUMMER: Madagascar

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Watching The Whales

Elsa Bechu,SUMMER: Madagascar

Description

One of the day trips we embarked on in Mangily was whale watching on pirogues (“lakana” in malagasy). Because we had to sail a ways out to reach our whale watching destination, we all met up at 5:30am, most (all) of us not anywhere near awake. The benefit of this was that we got a gorgeous […]

Posted On

07/16/16

Author

Elsa Bechu

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    [post_date] => 2016-07-16 10:28:08
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    [post_content] => The last few weeks have been crazy. Madagascar is such a beautiful place full of great people. Today we left our homestay families in Mangily, it was tough to say goodbye, but I am excited for what lies ahead. Madagascar has already given me many valuable life experiences so far, and I am sure there are lots more to come.

I would like to thank my parents for making this experience possible for me, muchas gracias!

Pablo Aziz
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SUMMER: Madagascar

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The last few weeks

pablo aziz,SUMMER: Madagascar

Description

The last few weeks have been crazy. Madagascar is such a beautiful place full of great people. Today we left our homestay families in Mangily, it was tough to say goodbye, but I am excited for what lies ahead. Madagascar has already given me many valuable life experiences so far, and I am sure there […]

Posted On

07/16/16

Author

pablo aziz

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    [post_date] => 2016-07-16 10:26:43
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-16 16:26:43
    [post_content] => Hello all,

I am currently writing from an Internet cafe in the bustling city of Tulear. As I sit here and reflect on my past week, all I can think about is how thankful and lucky I am to live the life that I do in the United States. However, I have come to realize how easy it is to forget about what really matters, particularly as we lead our busy, crowded daily lives. Alex, a fellow participant on this trip, asked me about what my favorite part of my homestay was. Sure, there were many wonderful memories of playing cards and seeing whale flukes while I was in Mangily. However, what struck me the most was my sense of security and my complete lack of stress. These two feelings I'm sure are what I will miss the most. The security does not come from the deadbolt on the house door nor from the high fence around our modest yard. The secure feeling came directly from the sense of family that my homestay had. Everyone was so loved and so willing to give everything they had to one another that, no matter who you were, blood or not, you could get what you needed. The motto for the family I stayed with really was, "What's mine is ours." This was refreshing after recounting how my sister and I always fight over tee shirts and other material possessions. Here it feels like less is so much more. This is why the stress melted off my shoulders during my homestay experience. I knew that no matter what happened I was being looked after and I would have everything I could ever need. I was clean, I was well fed, I was having fun, and I was most importantly happy. I hope that I can find a way to bring this home with me and to share it with my family. I think it's something we can all practice.

Warmly,

Sarah
    [post_title] => Going forward
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SUMMER: Madagascar

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Going forward

Sarah Milby,SUMMER: Madagascar

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Hello all, I am currently writing from an Internet cafe in the bustling city of Tulear. As I sit here and reflect on my past week, all I can think about is how thankful and lucky I am to live the life that I do in the United States. However, I have come to realize […]

Posted On

07/16/16

Author

Sarah Milby

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    [post_date] => 2016-07-16 10:25:51
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    [post_content] => Some main things about the homestay family:

- Zita family is an absolute delight. Mama Zita's fried fish is the best fish in town.

- The two months baby Zita loves the strange sounds I make with my mouth and by the third day Simmone, the babysitter sister, would bring the baby to me in emergency cases for some Relaxing Copa Sound Sessions. Always worked!

- Zitas were amazed that I knew how to cut onions, one night I cooked dinner for them. Mama Zita had the look of a guilty soul but by the end I convinced her I actually enjoyed cooking.

- Zhozha, the 5 year old boy of the family, is getting a bit spoiled from his parents because next year he is leaving to live in Tulear where the good school is. Fair.

- Papa Zita, Stan, works has an awesome office at Hotel Lagune de Princesse.

- Zitas overfeed me.

- I will love Zitas forever.
    [post_title] => My homestay family, I will love Zita Fam forever!
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SUMMER: Madagascar

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My homestay family, I will love Zita Fam forever!

Besart Copa,SUMMER: Madagascar

Description

Some main things about the homestay family: – Zita family is an absolute delight. Mama Zita’s fried fish is the best fish in town. – The two months baby Zita loves the strange sounds I make with my mouth and by the third day Simmone, the babysitter sister, would bring the baby to me in […]

Posted On

07/16/16

Author

Besart Copa

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