What did I learn?
I learned how much conservation really is to work with people. Talking to them and informing them about how important it is to protect the environment. I realized how much more I could do to help the environment from back home where I understand the culture and speak the language. Spending time with the people also made me realize how hard it is to find a balance between development and conservation. How can you say to a person not to use wood for cooking and building when he/she doesn’t have a choice? For people to be able to change their habits and lifestyles they have to be given choices. Finding these choices isn’t easy. I understood that it’s back home I can make a difference. I have the luxury of choice and that gives me the power to do the right or the wrong thing. People tend to think that it doesn’t make a difference what they do and how they live, but I’ve learned that’s wrong! Back in Madagascar people just have to live how they’re living since they have no choice. But living in a developed country gives you the possibility to choose how you live. And that, if something, is making a difference!
The Malagasy are wonderful people that seem to have an endless joy for life. They are curious and want to learn a lot! In Madagascar you’ll find compassion, love and happiness round every corner. The Malagasy don’t live in a hurry. They live in the moment and take each day as it comes. For me their lifestyle and everyday life became a self-evident way to live. And that is why I find it hard to really explain how it was. During the trip it was the Malagasy people that made the greatest impact on me. Joy and misery, happiness and sorrow, poverty and richness all walk hand in hand.
In Madagascar people have to live how they’re living since they have no choice. But living in a developed country gives you the possibility to choose how you live. And that, if something, is making a difference!
Take a look at my video
Don’t get me wrong it was a great trip! And I learned a lot! It just took my brain a while to catch up with what I experienced. My great lesson was learning to hold on to what I believe in, even if it seems hard and pointless.
I had a spark. A spark, that told me to work for a better world. This spark led me to Madagascar. Oddly enough that is where the spark was lost. It got suffocated.
Suffocated by the things I realized, and learned, about conservation and the world around us. I lost hope and I felt small and powerless in a sea of trouble. But the spark survived. It survived to grow stronger. And now I am guarding it as a treasure. I have a spark. A spark that drives me to work for a better world.