I was based in a small village called Ankilimalinike in the south-west of Madagascar. I worked alongside two other Explore volunteers and along with a local coordinator our main role in the village was to coordinate activities for the Vintsy club in the local school.
Even though it was sometimes difficult to communicate with the children, I found their enthusiasm could never be faulted. They gave 100% to every activity and were never shy to contribute their own ideas.
At the weekends and during the holidays we went on several excursions with WWFs local field agents. These trips were invaluable to me because they gave me an opportunity to see some of the projects WWF were involved with in the local area and how NGOs can work with local communities to better conserve their environment. I felt these trips also gave me the chance to see parts of Madagascar that no tourist would ever see. Talking to the WWFs Malagasy staff was also very useful as their views on environmental issues did not always match up with my western preconceptions.
Overall I found my experience in Madagascar to be a positive one which offered me all the opportunities I expected and more, while also allowing me to share with others.