Shipping out to Madagascar for 6 weeks, Birgitte was planning to test her limits, meet people from all over the world, learn to dive and so much else besides. Safe to say, mission accomplished! Here's her story...
1) Why did you choose this particular project?
First of all I like to experience new things and meet new people! I also like to push my limits. So I figured that going to Madagascar, meeting new people, learning to dive and do something good for the world would be amazing! And it was.
2) What kind of work and activities did you do during your project?
I was on the marine conservation, and I did marine surveys, I learnt about invertebrates, and the name of them in Latin (which I found very cool and interesting), I did a lot of diving and saw so much cool stuff close up!
3) How did the culture and people differ to home, and what were the locals like?
The culture is very different from Norwegian culture. Most of the people that I met were very nice and polite. And I felt very safe walking around in the city in the weekends by myself.
And the local food was amazing. Something that everyone who is going to Madagascar needs to try!
4) What was the accommodation like?
One word: amazing! I loved the camp. But it is the people that you live with that makes every place amazing.
5) What were the staff and other volunteers like?
Very nice! Staff and volunteers were together all the time, and they all welcomed me to the group when I arrived. And in the weekends we all went out together and had the best time.
6) What was your most amazing moment or your best memory?
That is a very hard question to answer. I think it must be swimming with the whale sharks and the fact that I met some great people that I definitely will meet again.
7) Do you feel the work you were doing was worthwhile?
Yes. The time I arrived there were some problems with my project, and some broken equipment. But before l left the problems were solved and I believe that the work that we do can make a difference, and wake up some awareness for people.
8) What sort of wildlife did you encounter?
Lemurs, snakes, geckos, scorpions, sharks, whales, turtles, Dolphins and so much more!
9) What were you hoping to learn while on project, and have you achieved those goals?
I was hoping to learn more about the marine life, and yes I did! The staff had some great knowledge and were more than willing to talk to me about everything, and show me when we went diving.
10) Any tips and advice you might like to pass on to future volunteers?
Bring a dry bag and a positive attitude!
11) What do you have planned next?
I’m going into the navy next year, but when that is done, I will definitely go back to volunteering!!
12) Anything else you would like to add?
I think the rest is up to the next person to experience!