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A fond farewell

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    Tuesday 18th December
    Coco Beach, Andavadoaka
    18:26 (UK), 18:26 (Madagascar)

    Tonight was a really fantastic night at the BV camp. It is the penultimate night for the volunteers here in Andavadoaka and to see them all off the women’s association of Andavadoaka came to give us a farewell. There were at least 20 women there. It has been the first time that I have seen so many women of the village together. Normally it is the men that BV interacts with – fishermen etc. They sang and danced for us, spoke to us and then gave us a cake (with icing on – causing much excitement!)

    This expedition has been the first to invite the women’s association to sell products to our volunteers on a Sunday. In the farewell speech they thanked BV for the support given to school children through their scholarship programme, thanked the volunteers for their English teaching at the school and other work in the village. It was great to see and hear the impact that the work of BV has had directly from the women. I trust a woman’s opinion far more and so this really hit home. The whole of Coco Beach including the staff enjoyed the show and them after we all enjoyed the cake – except for those of us that are vegan / with wheat allergies / fish allergies (cakes here all seem to have a fish after taste due to the pans used to make the cake).

    An end of a good day really…

    The rest of the day has been filled with working to distribute stoves and meeting with the Velondriake committee to discuss biogas in the group of villages. We are starting work on a feasibility study here and it was great to hear their understanding of a recent biogas proposal and the reasons why they are in favour of such a project. Their main reason it seems is electricity. We have previously analysed the water sources in Andavadoaka to show that pathogens are a serious problem, but despite this sanitation seems like a low priority and having electricity for other things is more important to them. Anyways there is a lot of analysis to be done and we need to convince the village of the potential effectiveness of small scale systems through demonstration- perhaps BV’s new Ecolodge can be just that place. We’ll see how things progress.

    Best get to bed now – early start surveying a household’s fuel use.

    Ellie La Trobe-Bateman
    Carbon Offset Manager

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