Photo of the Week
Photo Title


WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 145888
    [post_author] => 2
    [post_date] => 2016-07-16 10:25:06
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-16 16:25:06
    [post_content] => As the sun gained a richer tone and ascended into the sky to pour its beams of golden light on the town of Mangily, the roosters woke me up with their clucks; a perfect replacement for the alarm watch that I did not bring. I was very fortunate to wake up in the home of Madame Nordancia and her husband, Monsieur Christiano every morning for the last week. I will never forget the compassion and care they gave to me despite the poverty they face along with most of everyone else in Mangily and Madagascar for that matter. Their home is part of a small compound bordered by two other homes built around their cobblestone well and shrouded from the view of rest of the villages by Madame Nordancia's small restaurant, or Hotely, and her step brother Stan's vending booth. Every morning, I would leave my home and look at Madame Nordancia and her two cousins-hard at work-relentlessly cooking the typical Malagasy meals which consisted of rice, beans, fish, and sometimes chicken(a luxury in madagascar). Sitting in Nordancia's hotely-a small wooden shack with a floor edged with a mat of orange dirt-she would bring me a dish of sunny side up eggs, three fried banana's, two small baguette's, and a cup of coffee. The meals were really delicious especially the banana's which were sharp in their flavor and which will be missed.

Everyone in Mangily seemed to know eachother and that was necessary for their happiness in their everyday struggle to overcome their impoverished conditions.

Being a New Yorker, I always have looked out to draw a circle around my family and my friends to protect and care for them. In Mangily, each person draws a much large circle-a circle that looks out for their community. This is honorable and I will never forget the fortitude they hold in doing this.
    [post_title] => Fortitude and Community
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => fortitude-and-community
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2016-07-16 10:25:06
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-07-16 16:25:06
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/blog/
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 569
                    [name] => SUMMER: Madagascar
                    [slug] => summer-2016-madagascar
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 569
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 536
                    [count] => 62
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 0.1
                    [cat_ID] => 569
                    [category_count] => 62
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => SUMMER: Madagascar
                    [category_nicename] => summer-2016-madagascar
                    [category_parent] => 536
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2016/summer-2016-madagascar/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => SUMMER: Madagascar
)

SUMMER: Madagascar

View post

Fortitude and Community

Jonathan Weiss,SUMMER: Madagascar

Description

As the sun gained a richer tone and ascended into the sky to pour its beams of golden light on the town of Mangily, the roosters woke me up with their clucks; a perfect replacement for the alarm watch that I did not bring. I was very fortunate to wake up in the home of […]

Posted On

07/16/16

Author

Jonathan Weiss

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 145898
    [post_author] => 15
    [post_date] => 2016-07-16 10:24:14
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-16 16:24:14
    [post_content] => Here are a few more photos of our time visiting a reef conservation organization called Reef Doctor and exploring the coral reef on the coastline of Mangily with our hosts in small outrigger canoes.Screen shot 2016-07-16 at 10.20.13 AM Screen shot 2016-07-16 at 10.20.25 AM Screen shot 2016-07-16 at 10.20.35 AM Screen shot 2016-07-16 at 10.20.50 AM Screen shot 2016-07-16 at 10.21.04 AM
    [post_title] => Photos from Mangily
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => photos-from-mangily-2
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2016-07-16 10:24:14
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-07-16 16:24:14
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/blog/
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 569
                    [name] => SUMMER: Madagascar
                    [slug] => summer-2016-madagascar
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 569
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 536
                    [count] => 62
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 0.1
                    [cat_ID] => 569
                    [category_count] => 62
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => SUMMER: Madagascar
                    [category_nicename] => summer-2016-madagascar
                    [category_parent] => 536
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2016/summer-2016-madagascar/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => SUMMER: Madagascar
)
View post

Photos from Mangily

Sidonie Emerande,SUMMER: Madagascar

Description

Here are a few more photos of our time visiting a reef conservation organization called Reef Doctor and exploring the coral reef on the coastline of Mangily with our hosts in small outrigger canoes.

Posted On

07/16/16

Author

Sidonie Emerande

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 145895
    [post_author] => 15
    [post_date] => 2016-07-16 10:17:41
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-16 16:17:41
    [post_content] => i.

It takes something like thirty hours (4 days of travel if you stop for food and only travel in the daytime—which is advisable) to travel the 930kilometers from Antananarivo to the coastal capital of Tulear in southwestern Madagascar. The RN-7 is a small, one lane affair that is symbolic of any of Madagascar’s four or five national highways. The road is both narrow in width and thin in depth. The surface cracks easy and the entire length of the road is pock-marked with deep, red, craters where the beautiful soil of Madagascar pushes itself out of the broken pieces of asphalt in the same way the red-tinged water of a boiling pot of vary-mena spills over the edges and onto the charcoal fire it rests above.

The maximum speed of travel here is never more than about 50mph and probably averages something around 20 mph or even less. Traveling on these sorts of roads, one becomes accustomed to a constant lurching as the driver accelerates quickly and then brakes between the suspension destroying holes in the road. You notice any constant speed that lasts more than a minute or two.

Fortunately the RN7 is constantly abuzz with life and it is easy to get lost watching the world slide past at a leisurely pace. Traveling in sub-saharan Africa is—or at least can be—meditative. I’m always reminded of David Foster Wallace’s “This is Water” commencement address when I’m travelling here. In it he talks about the choice we have to either accept our own ‘default’ mode of thinking—one where we keep our self at the center of the world and how everything is happening to us or because of us—or focusing on what actually matters in the world and how we are but an insignificantly small part of a greater whole and even, in spite of that, every moment is precious, irretrievable and brimming with magic. If we truly hear what Wallace had to say we learn to be aware when our selfish ‘default’ mode switches on and then to be able to turn it back off and learn to ‘worship’ what actually matters, to worship each moment that we are given in the too-short time that we have.

ii.

As we drove away from our orientation site in Ampefy a young girl was standing next to a little rough-shod stand made of scraggly branches and a thatched roof. She was standing with her right foot out into the road and her corresponding hip jutting out toward our bush-taxi. She had her left hand on her hip and her right hand extended far up into the air as if she were waving to us. From far off it looked like she was waving a small handkerchief like a Victorian child bidding farewell to her family on some smoky and dank European dock. As we got closer I noticed that she was holding a live fish, just caught in the lake behind her, with her thumb in it’s mouth and her index finger resting on the top of the fish’s head. The fish was doing the waving.

If you drive from the plateau toward the coast you spend the first day slowly descending through tiny villages and towns made of the millions of mud bricks that are produced next to the endless terraces of rice paddies that perfectly reflect the cloud-dotted sky at sunset. The bricks are far from permanent in their construction and probably don’t last more than a decade or so. I always get the feeling that I’m watching a clay-mation movie in slow motion when I’m driving through this part of Madagascar. I squint my eyes and see the houses rising and falling as a steady hand forms them and then the slow turn of the seasons wears them back down to the ground. The bricks are dredged up from the ground, stacked and roasted in a kiln built from the same bricks. Houses, charred and smoky, rise from the clay with sharp edges that soften and blur when the rains come. They warp and split, eventually leaning too far in or out before finally succumbing back to the earth that gave birth to them.

After a few days of travel the people and places start to mesh together like a strange film that glides past the window of our slow bus. As you continue further south the houses start to shrink, turning from the tall and narrow two story houses of the Merina that look like an upturned shoebox to the one story houses of the Betsileo. Keep pushing further south and the and the houses turn from brick to bamboo and or sticks and the corrugated roofs of the plateau are replaced with grass and leaf roofs made from the far-stretching plains or the beautiful branches of the ravinala trees. As the houses shrink the people tend to get both taller and darker. The Merina people who live in the terraced highlands of madagascar, that resemble their ancestral homelands in Borneo, Java and Sulawesi, are short in stature and soft in their facial features. As you approach the coast you can easily see the switch from Austronesian people to that of the Bantu speaking east-African people that, along with people from modern Indonesia, first arrived in Madagascar.

Madagascar is a huge country and the pace of travel only exacerbates this fact. Madgascar, from a taxi-brusse reminds me of a film projected on a white sheet that slowly flutters in the slow breeze of a late summer night. If you choose, you can spend an almost endless amount of time looking out of the window of an uncomfortable bus and watch the beauty of the world unfold before you, like magic. Because, after all, “This is Water.”
    [post_title] => Musings from Micah
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => musings-from-micah
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2016-07-16 10:17:41
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-07-16 16:17:41
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/blog/
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 36
                    [name] => Best Notes From The Field
                    [slug] => best-notes-from-the-field
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 36
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => These pieces of travel writing are reflections by students and instructors traveling all over the world. They exemplify the open-minded spirit of exploration and self-discovery on a Dragons course.
                    [parent] => 0
                    [count] => 503
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 0
                    [cat_ID] => 36
                    [category_count] => 503
                    [category_description] => These pieces of travel writing are reflections by students and instructors traveling all over the world. They exemplify the open-minded spirit of exploration and self-discovery on a Dragons course.
                    [cat_name] => Best Notes From The Field
                    [category_nicename] => best-notes-from-the-field
                    [category_parent] => 0
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/best-notes-from-the-field/
                )

            [1] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 569
                    [name] => SUMMER: Madagascar
                    [slug] => summer-2016-madagascar
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 569
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 536
                    [count] => 62
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 0.1
                    [cat_ID] => 569
                    [category_count] => 62
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => SUMMER: Madagascar
                    [category_nicename] => summer-2016-madagascar
                    [category_parent] => 536
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2016/summer-2016-madagascar/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => Best Notes From The Field, SUMMER: Madagascar
)
View post

Musings from Micah

Micah LeMasters,Best Notes From The Field, SUMMER: Madagascar

Description

i. It takes something like thirty hours (4 days of travel if you stop for food and only travel in the daytime—which is advisable) to travel the 930kilometers from Antananarivo to the coastal capital of Tulear in southwestern Madagascar. The RN-7 is a small, one lane affair that is symbolic of any of Madagascar’s four […]

Posted On

07/16/16

Author

Micah LeMasters

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 145889
    [post_author] => 2
    [post_date] => 2016-07-16 10:11:11
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-16 16:11:11
    [post_content] => More than just whale watching, more than just handfuls of seashells, more than just smiling mouths. A sullen dark face meets my eye, uninterested. I am not greeted with the typical "salam!" and ecstatic wave that has scattered the Mangily paths and defined how we see Malagasy children. Instead, sitting under a covered area, this girl looks away, shiny tear paths streaked down her cheeks. She wants nothing to do with another foreigner; only one of many who have walked the same sandy path that I walk down now. She looks down at her hands.

More than just snorkeling, more than just generous plates of food, more than just warm bucket baths. 6 children fight over the remnants of my half eaten plate, pushing and pulling one another in their ongoing fight to fill their bellies. Over the screeching and yelling, my homestay mother gives me an uneasy smile and I quickly try to mask my shock with a look of normalcy. Noodles hang drunkenly around the sitting area as the kids slowly remember that I am in the room.

[Sorry, I can't finish this because I ran out of time!]
    [post_title] => Heartstrings
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => heartstrings
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2016-07-16 10:11:11
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-07-16 16:11:11
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/blog/
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 569
                    [name] => SUMMER: Madagascar
                    [slug] => summer-2016-madagascar
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 569
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 536
                    [count] => 62
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 0.1
                    [cat_ID] => 569
                    [category_count] => 62
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => SUMMER: Madagascar
                    [category_nicename] => summer-2016-madagascar
                    [category_parent] => 536
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2016/summer-2016-madagascar/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => SUMMER: Madagascar
)

SUMMER: Madagascar

View post

Heartstrings

zoe wood,SUMMER: Madagascar

Description

More than just whale watching, more than just handfuls of seashells, more than just smiling mouths. A sullen dark face meets my eye, uninterested. I am not greeted with the typical “salam!” and ecstatic wave that has scattered the Mangily paths and defined how we see Malagasy children. Instead, sitting under a covered area, this girl looks away, shiny tear paths […]

Posted On

07/16/16

Author

zoe wood

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 145860
    [post_author] => 15
    [post_date] => 2016-07-15 14:50:05
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-15 20:50:05
    [post_content] => Greetings Madagascar Friends and Family!

We just received these photos and a phone update from the Madagascar instructor team. Tonight is their last night in their coastal homestays in Mangily, and they had a huge dance party with all the homestay families to celebrate. Below is a photo of the group next to some local outrigger canoes that the team used to explore the reef along the coastline. Beyond the edge of the reef the group saw a group of migrating humpback whales! Tomorrow, the group is traveling back to Isalo to prepare for their trek. Internet in this part of Madagascar is a challenge, but the group is going to try to post some Field Notes from an internet cafe in a town along the way. In the meantime, know that all students are doing well after proudly performing a dance they prepared for their homestay families!

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 2.44.49 PM
    [post_title] => Photos from Mangily
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => photos-from-mangily
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2016-07-15 14:50:05
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-07-15 20:50:05
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/blog/
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 569
                    [name] => SUMMER: Madagascar
                    [slug] => summer-2016-madagascar
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 569
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 536
                    [count] => 62
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 0.1
                    [cat_ID] => 569
                    [category_count] => 62
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => SUMMER: Madagascar
                    [category_nicename] => summer-2016-madagascar
                    [category_parent] => 536
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2016/summer-2016-madagascar/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => SUMMER: Madagascar
)
View post

Photos from Mangily

Jenny Wagner,SUMMER: Madagascar

Description

Greetings Madagascar Friends and Family! We just received these photos and a phone update from the Madagascar instructor team. Tonight is their last night in their coastal homestays in Mangily, and they had a huge dance party with all the homestay families to celebrate. Below is a photo of the group next to some local […]

Posted On

07/15/16

Author

Jenny Wagner

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 145556
    [post_author] => 15
    [post_date] => 2016-07-12 09:02:54
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-12 15:02:54
    [post_content] => We were excited to announce the homestay families on July 10.  This is a picture of all 12 students with their new homestay families in Mangily (near Toliara). The students are learning a lot about the Malagasy culture and have been enjoying their time in this beautiful, coastal village! The students will stay with their families until July 15th.

Misaotra(thank you)!

Madagascar Instructor Team
    [post_title] => Update from Mangily
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => update-from-mangily
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2016-07-12 09:02:54
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-07-12 15:02:54
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/blog/
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 569
                    [name] => SUMMER: Madagascar
                    [slug] => summer-2016-madagascar
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 569
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 536
                    [count] => 62
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 0.1
                    [cat_ID] => 569
                    [category_count] => 62
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => SUMMER: Madagascar
                    [category_nicename] => summer-2016-madagascar
                    [category_parent] => 536
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2016/summer-2016-madagascar/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => SUMMER: Madagascar
)
View post

Update from Mangily

Jenny Wagner,SUMMER: Madagascar

Description

We were excited to announce the homestay families on July 10.  This is a picture of all 12 students with their new homestay families in Mangily (near Toliara). The students are learning a lot about the Malagasy culture and have been enjoying their time in this beautiful, coastal village! The students will stay with their […]

Posted On

07/12/16

Author

Jenny Wagner

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 145327
    [post_author] => 2
    [post_date] => 2016-07-11 13:59:36
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-11 19:59:36
    [post_content] => Hey there!!
This is Alexandra Anderson reporting currently from Isalo, Madagascar. So far this trip has been a great experience. I'll start from the beginning, but don't worry I won't make it too long. When I first arrived we all stayed at a place in Antananarivo. It was good, there were two cute dogs, and it was Kaden's birthday so we celebrated his birthday by having cake. It was fun and I enjoyed meeting everyone. We then stayed in a nice place in Ampefy, it was beautiful and all was well. Unfortunately I wasn't feeling well at orientation in Ampefy. However after resting for a whole day, getting a good nights rest, and help from the instructors I recovered well and am now fine and healthy. Besides my illness orientation went well; it was nice learning about what my experience would be like. Afterwards we left Ampefy and made our way to Ranomafana staying in various places and had a nice time. Once in Ranomafana we had to days of hiking and it was all so beautiful. I truly was in Madagascar, and we saw so many animals I have never seen before. It was quite unfortunate though, on our second hike which was an all day hike many of us got leeches on our feet, but what happened afterwards is what made it worth it. After the leech invasion we continued walking to a waterfall. The waterfall was huge and it was amazing; The sun was shining, and you could feel the mist coming from the waterfall. A couple of us climbed around on the big rocks to get closer to the waterfall and it was so fun and beautiful. The highlight of the experience so far. We finished off the day hike with a night walk looking for chameleons and having a nice dinner. After Ranomafana we made our way to Isalo, and have now stayed here for two days because part if the group wasn't feeling well so we decided to stay an extra night before heading to the home stays. Tomorrow we are going to travel to our homestays and I am excited for the experience. Overall everything has been pretty cool so far and I am eager to experience the rest of the trip. I am having fun and I am really happy at how much I am learning here. I do miss everyone very much. How is boo? Taking naps as always? I hope your work is going well Ross, I have been reading quite a bit but I miss you terribly. How is Antonia? How was her trip? I hope her IB scores were great. How are you mom? I miss your smiling face and am always thinking of you. I hope you're having a nice time, and tell everyone I say hello. I hope you guys are having as nice experience as I am. I can't wait to get a chance to hear from you. I love y'all so much and I can't wait until I see everyone again and tell y'all how amazing my experience at Madagascar was. Well it's not over yet! I intend to work hard and enjoy it to the best of my ability! Miss you and love you! Well I better stop writing before I go on forever. We'll hear from each other soon! Okay haha bye bye.

From Madagascar,

Alexandra Anderson
    [post_title] => Hi Mom! Hi Dad!
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => hi-mom-hi-dad
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2016-07-11 13:59:36
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-07-11 19:59:36
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/blog/
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 569
                    [name] => SUMMER: Madagascar
                    [slug] => summer-2016-madagascar
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 569
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 536
                    [count] => 62
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 0.1
                    [cat_ID] => 569
                    [category_count] => 62
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => SUMMER: Madagascar
                    [category_nicename] => summer-2016-madagascar
                    [category_parent] => 536
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2016/summer-2016-madagascar/
                )

            [1] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 1
                    [name] => Uncategorized
                    [slug] => uncategorized
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 1
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 0
                    [count] => 348
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 41
                    [cat_ID] => 1
                    [category_count] => 348
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => Uncategorized
                    [category_nicename] => uncategorized
                    [category_parent] => 0
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/uncategorized/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => SUMMER: Madagascar, Uncategorized
)

SUMMER: Madagascar, Uncategorized

View post

Hi Mom! Hi Dad!

Alexandra Anderson,SUMMER: Madagascar, Uncategorized

Description

Hey there!! This is Alexandra Anderson reporting currently from Isalo, Madagascar. So far this trip has been a great experience. I’ll start from the beginning, but don’t worry I won’t make it too long. When I first arrived we all stayed at a place in Antananarivo. It was good, there were two cute dogs, and […]

Posted On

07/11/16

Author

Alexandra Anderson

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 145445
    [post_author] => 15
    [post_date] => 2016-07-11 09:22:09
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-11 15:22:09
    [post_content] => Greetings Madagascar Friends and Family,

Our students have successfully moved into their homestays in the beach community of Mangily on the west coast of Madagascar. During this time, the team has limited access to internet and won't be as active on the Field Notes board. You can expect more updates around July 15, when the group will return to Isalo National Park in preparation for their trek.

Best,

Jenny
    [post_title] => Out of Contact: Homestays in Mangily
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => out-of-contact-homestays-in-mangily
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2016-07-11 09:22:09
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-07-11 15:22:09
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/blog/
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 569
                    [name] => SUMMER: Madagascar
                    [slug] => summer-2016-madagascar
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 569
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 536
                    [count] => 62
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 0.1
                    [cat_ID] => 569
                    [category_count] => 62
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => SUMMER: Madagascar
                    [category_nicename] => summer-2016-madagascar
                    [category_parent] => 536
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2016/summer-2016-madagascar/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => SUMMER: Madagascar
)

SUMMER: Madagascar

View post

Out of Contact: Homestays in Mangily

Jenny Wagner,SUMMER: Madagascar

Description

Greetings Madagascar Friends and Family, Our students have successfully moved into their homestays in the beach community of Mangily on the west coast of Madagascar. During this time, the team has limited access to internet and won’t be as active on the Field Notes board. You can expect more updates around July 15, when the […]

Posted On

07/11/16

Author

Jenny Wagner

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 145306
    [post_author] => 2
    [post_date] => 2016-07-09 10:35:17
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-09 16:35:17
    [post_content] => As I was walking through the streets of Ranomafano with my camera on my hand, I remembered an article from The Onion titled something like "White Girl Goes to Africa, Changes FB Profile Picture". It's a funny article. As I walk, I see many young children with worn off clothes running around with big smiles, screaming "Vazzaaaaa!". All of those opportunities for the Onion's White Girl to change her profile picture...

 

The White Girl takes the picture with the African child with torn off clothes to indicate that she is in a poor African country where she is helping the people. She is helping the world become a better place. She shares the photo on social media to get acknowledged of this great deed of hers. As much as we can laugh with The Onion's article and have a sour feeling towards the girl, we all seek acknowledgement for being good people, one way or another.

 

However why do we have to seek this acknowledgement in Africa, or any other developing country far away from our homelands? How is the picture taken with the African child special, and deserving of being in many photos? There are hundreds of poor children in developed countries too, beggar children. However, in those cases, we walk by them everyday in the street, never thinking of taking a picture with them. We tend to think that "This is life" or that we can not do anything to really help them... but when it comes to African children we all become 'The Onion's White Girl' or the next UNICEF's Peace Ambassador. This phenomenon occurs because of the "single stories" (TED Talk, which one of our instructors, Micah, read to us) we are told. We are told since young that populations of developing countries are bound to be unfortunate and deserving of our charity effort, while the unfortunate of our own developed communities are somehow a normal part of the modern life, an unfortunate result of capitalism and our political systems.

 

This trip helped me realize that no one is more deserving or less deserving when it comes to poverty. Coming to Madagascar made me more aware of my country, and more responsible for it. Madagascar's diversity puts things into perspective and it made me realize that while out environments and habitats are as diverse as they could be, humans are not. Our feelings and our emotions are the same, out base line is the same. The African child with torn off clothes might have a much happier life in its highly traditional family, while the beggar kid in the corner of your street might not even know its family.

 

Saying this, Africa is indeed highly more impoverished than the rest of the world. However, 'single stories' should not affect our perception of unfortunate individuals based on where they live or where they come from. An African Girl can also come to Europe and take a photo with a poor beggar child and change her profile picture, however, the single stories make this scenario seem bizarre to most of us.

 

Enjoy the sunset we saw yesterday on our drive to the South!
    [post_title] => Everything is special, but the people.- Single Stories
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => everything-is-special-but-the-people-single-stories
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2016-07-09 10:35:17
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-07-09 16:35:17
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/blog/
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 569
                    [name] => SUMMER: Madagascar
                    [slug] => summer-2016-madagascar
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 569
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 536
                    [count] => 62
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 0.1
                    [cat_ID] => 569
                    [category_count] => 62
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => SUMMER: Madagascar
                    [category_nicename] => summer-2016-madagascar
                    [category_parent] => 536
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2016/summer-2016-madagascar/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => SUMMER: Madagascar
)
View post

Everything is special, but the people.- Single Stories

Besart Copa,SUMMER: Madagascar

Description

As I was walking through the streets of Ranomafano with my camera on my hand, I remembered an article from The Onion titled something like “White Girl Goes to Africa, Changes FB Profile Picture”. It’s a funny article. As I walk, I see many young children with worn off clothes running around with big smiles, […]

Posted On

07/9/16

Author

Besart Copa

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 145183
    [post_author] => 2
    [post_date] => 2016-07-07 16:06:24
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-07 22:06:24
    [post_content] => 

The group has been traveling quite a bit these past few days. After leaving our beautiful hotel in Ampefy, we started our two day journey to Ranomafana on our taxi brousse (which we named Bruce). We stayed in Antsirabe for one night and arrived in Ranomafana the following evening. We are currently staying at the Hotel Manja in Ranomafana and we will depart tomorrow for our first home stay in Mangily.

Yesterday morning we started our day with a four hour hike in the Ranomafana rainforest and had a brilliant time. Since it had been raining all morning, the trail was quite slippery and muddy, and it was hilarious seeing each other trying to keep clean and dry. Needless to say, we were all soaking and covered in mud by the end of the hike. We had a great time pretending to be Indiana Jones and navigating our way through the forest in search for lemurs. When we finally saw the endangered animals jumping rapidly from tree to tree, Charlie decided to cross the river so he could be the first to photograph them. The rest of the group finally caught up to him after making our way through the muddy trail (we ended up being just as wet as he was). We all managed to observe the rare lemurs and take some photographs (Charlie’s pictures turned out awesome, so crossing the river was totally worth it).

After our morning adventure, we headed to the Ranomafana center (which is largely responsible for the park being open for people to explore today). We got a tour of the center and were informed about all the research that is currently being done by Malagasy scientists to find out why so many lemurs are dying from strange diseases. We even had the opportunity to talk to some Stonybrook Graduate students who were at the park researching public health in rural Malagasy villages. We were so inspired to see how much these students want to make a difference in Madagascar. Hopefully, we too can make a positive contribution to this beautiful country with Dragons.

[post_title] => Update from Ranomafana [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => update-from-ranomafana [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-07-07 16:06:24 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-07-07 22:06:24 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/blog/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 569 [name] => SUMMER: Madagascar [slug] => summer-2016-madagascar [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 569 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 536 [count] => 62 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 0.1 [cat_ID] => 569 [category_count] => 62 [category_description] => [cat_name] => SUMMER: Madagascar [category_nicename] => summer-2016-madagascar [category_parent] => 536 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2016/summer-2016-madagascar/ ) ) [category_links] => SUMMER: Madagascar )

SUMMER: Madagascar

View post

Update from Ranomafana

Paola Karapataki,SUMMER: Madagascar

Description

The group has been traveling quite a bit these past few days. After leaving our beautiful hotel in Ampefy, we started our two day journey to Ranomafana on our taxi brousse (which we named Bruce). We stayed in Antsirabe for one night and arrived in Ranomafana the following evening. We are currently staying at the […]

Posted On

07/7/16

Author

Paola Karapataki

1 2 3 4 5 7