1 12

    Hi everybody!! My name is Vola and I’m a Malagasy staff member of Blue Ventures in Andavadoaka, Southwest Madagascar. Before I came here, I’ve been living in Florida USA for two years where I completed a MSc in Coastal Zone Management. I’m really keen to work in Andavadoaka. The conservation projects and pionneering research conducted by Blue Ventures in this part of the world are very much needed for the management of marine resources on which the local population depend greatly. In addition to marine conservation, Blue Ventures also works on developing other activities such as ecotourism (bird watching, visit of baobab forests, diving), local arts and crafts and aquaculture to boost the economic potentials of the region and thus reducing negative impacts on natural habitats. I’m mainly involved with shark and turtle catch monitoring, the new Marine Protected Areas and Environmental Education. It’s really exciting!!!

    I’ve been living in Andavadoaka for about 2 months and it’s a whole new different experience. I’m getting used to life’s routine on site: staff meeting at 6 pm, “vaovao” time in the evening during which everybody shares news, diving and science training – I finally passed the inwater fish test, yeahh!! -, English and Malagasy teaching and the different conservation projects.
    Social life on site is also an important part of the expedition. Games and parties on site are occasions to get to know the volunteers and other staff members a bit more. I do enjoy playing Jungle Speed or tricks after dinner, volleyball in the afternoon, space hopper race on the beach – seems easy if you haven’t ride one yet!! There is a lot going on on party nights. We often have themed parties which can be hilarious!! I’m impressed with everybody’s creativity since there is not a large choice of materials in Andavadoaka. Then we sing songs – the one I like the best being “Salty Dog”. And of course, I don’t want to forget the traditions such as “snorkel test” – it’s very possible to fail -, the passing of the Golden Fleece – that one is for the best volunteer in science so very serious thing!!- and “tay be” for the less geeky people ;) Well, that’s how life is in Andavadoaka. Hope you could travel a bit by reading my blog and maybe you’ll come and visit Andavadoaka!! Cheers all!!

    Vola Ramahery
    Research Assistant, Nov. 2006

    Comments