Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Meaningful Work in Madagascar

This is a guest post from my friend, Robin Huffman, who is working as a volunteer in Madagascar.

Hi there!
I am remiss in getting an update of my African adventures to you. In the meantime, this link will give you a little flavor for it.... I'm volunteering at an environmental conservation research center in Madagascar called Centre Valbio.

It's located at the Ranomafana national park, which is a rain forest claiming 12 species of lemurs (in addition to lots of other plants and critters that are found nowhere else in the world). The center and the formation of the park are the result of efforts by an American primatologist named Patricia Wright, and has become a center for many things besides science and biology research.

For example, I went along today as they passed out almost 4 tons of rice to families in the local communities devastated by the recent cyclones. And yesterday we visited 3 women's handicrafts collaboratives for which I designed logos.

Centre Valbio also, in conjunction with the US Embassy, is creating a music and arts program. One of the most popular young bands in Madagascar, Ambodrona, recently visited and filmed their latest music video here at the centre and the park. This is filmed right at where I am staying. It's very beautiful; their video will give you a sense of it....

By the way, the young woman in the video is Miss Madagascar.

Ambodrona is going to be doing a concert here at the centre on April 21, with up to a hundred people making the 9-hour trek from the capital city. I've just extended my visit here so I can attend the concert and help put together the event (in addition to assisting with the interiors of the new 4-story building under construction at the centre).

Feel free to send the YouTube link to your friends!


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