A little bit about me...
Hello, my name is Sonam Yanki Rabgye and I am from Bhutan. I have lived in several countries including America, India, Canada and Switzerland. Currently I am living in Geneva, and after an internship with the World Health Organization I decided to apply for the WWF Youth Volunteer Program. I never had any field experience and wanted to get a “hands-on” approach to conservation work.
An Introduction to Madagascar
As I walk to the WWF office in Vondrozo, I come across a stall owned by a thin woman with a rather curious hairstyle, it reminded me of mini croissants parked on a dark shiny head. She is dressed in bright clothing with prints depicting an everyday scene; a herd of zebu. Her stall sells the popular Manoik vegetable that has been deep fried. I walk further on to see a garbage dump near a small shop selling sweets, peanuts, alcohol, Coca-cola, Fanta, Sprite – all delicately balanced on rickety shelves. The main residents of the garbage area are ducks, geese, and the odd chicken competing for scraps of food and whatever they can find. A woman stops, stares and then resumes bathing her little son with water poured from a plastic mug in a bucket. Life seems to stand still and there is no sense of urgency for the relaxed and simple folk of Vondrozo. I feel the urge to stand and stare as well, but realize that I too must be quite a strange sight for them!
By the end of our lessons it is evening, and with that comes the cool evening breeze, bringing relief after a hot and humid day. We hear singing, and as we approach, see locals dancing merrily to music amplified by big speakers and microphones. My friends and I join the fun dancing and singing till about 8pm. Now it is time to retire and I look forward to another day in Madagascar.
This experience made me learn more about myself and realize my own personal limits, not just physically but also having to live in an environment away from all the everyday luxuries that we are so used to in life. I learnt how we can do without so many of the material things that we have become so dependant in life now, the true difference between my wants and my needs. Lastly, this experience has only strengthened my personal pursuit in a career in the field of environment