So Long MRCI – Volunteering With You Has been Great! 

So today I leave the MRCI camp. I have been volunteering here for the last 9 weeks and it has been a blast! MRCI on Nosy Komba is a great place to settle in for a while and experience Madagascar while giving back to a local community and the world of conservation. 

(Helping the construction crew carry sand bags to build a school in a nearby village)

As I’ve said before I’ve spent many days hiking the island and collecting data on endemic species. I’ve also been able to help as a part time social media intern, writing blog posts and keeping the world informed with what’s going on at camp. I will still be aiding their efforts from afar as I continue to facilitate a partnership between MRCI and ETSU. I’m hoping this will propel MRCI further into the conservation community, as there are a lot of beautiful things to conserve in Madagascar. 

(The church where I slept on an overnight survey to the top of Nosy Komba)

(Dinner at the church walk, prepared by locals. Best food ever! Learn more here.)

Over the last 9 weeks I’ve also been able to further my diving. I received my Advanced Open Water and Rescue Diver qualifications from the MRCI dive god, Kyle. This has been a dream and the diving in Madagascar is second to none. I hope to pursue Dive Master and Tech Diving when I get home!

(Mermaids! Georgia and me on a dive. Really need a GoPro…)

Madagascar is the 4th poorest country in the world and I’ve learned so many things since being here. Mainly things like flies touching your food is not the end of the world. People live and thrive here and it’s a lesson to respect everyone and be empathetic to one’s circumstances. The government here doesn’t have means to do much for its citizens but people are happy. 

(A view of Lokobe National Park from my last boat ride from camp)

So many people back home are currently questioning environmental regulations and wishing to have fewer. However, having been in a country (a few countries now, actually) with essentially none, I hope our leaders and citizens see the value in preserving our environment. It’s not an easy life here for sure. 

(Lemurs love bananas!)

After nearly 4 months of travel in Africa, my final week in Madagascar will take me to 2 national parks. First, I’m headed to Morandava where the baobabs live, and second, to Andisible to see more lemurs and wildlife. Afterwards I start the long trek onto Cambodia to start my Asian Adventures. Viva Madagascar! 

(My Madagascar Ride-or-Die crew minus Lara! Thank you girls for making it wonderful!)