Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Day 1, Antananarivo

Three of us volunteers arrived on the same flight and landed late Monday evening. Getting our visas sorted took quite some time and by the time we finally arrived to our hotel, just outside the airport, we were all exhausted.

Today morning, after the first, slightly agitated night, half recovered from the travelling, we took off for a small walk in the neighbourhood. To my great joy, Madagascar smells exactly the same as four years ago! ;-) Im not sure I can describe it well, but its warm, humid and somehow has some of the malgache soul in it. Towards the end of the flight, while I was stressing about the landing and the turbulence and getting tired, I thought to myself ‘What am I doing here? I just want to go home to my normal life...’ Today I have no such thoughts, excitement completely took over and it makes me smile to be back here, enjoy the vivid street life, be blinded by the sun, appreciate the colours, the remains of the colonial architecture, and the wave of children towards us.

We took it easy today, welcomed two more volunteers, met our guide for the next few days and reviewed the program of the first week.

Speaking French and having already been here help me a lot, not only because I personally feel much more comfortable than the first time, but also because my previous experience comes in handy for the rest of the group who are less certain in their language skills.

We have a big day of driving tomorrow and then will visit to a community managed park, Anja. Its a place with some impressive big rocks, from which there is a breathtaking view over the landscape.

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