Salame is a normal greeting in Madagascar. It is Malagasy (the first official language of Madagascar) for “Hello!” and, appropriately, comes from the word for peace. Since 2006, Scouts Canada has been working in partnership with the village of Ambato Boeni, Madagascar on community development initiatives, and we’re heading back in August 2016! Will you be part of this adventure?
Madagascar is one of the most fascinating countries on the face of the Earth and one that most people will only ever imagine (if they know that it actually is a real place at all!). The island existed for 88 million years as a separate landmass from all other continents, leading to some of the most varied flora and fauna in the world, like lemurs and chameleons. As people started to migrate along trade routes, and through colonization, Madagascar has since been influenced by Arabic speaking traders, the English, the French and even the Russians! Today, it is a cultural mosaic of people from all around the Indian Ocean and South Asia.
The people of Madagascar in general, and of Ambato Boeni in particular, are incredibly welcoming. They are always willing to share a laugh or a smile, two things that easily break down language barriers. The trip will not simply be limited to working on a construction site. You’ll have the opportunity to get out and meet and interact with people, experience the culture and see parts of this unique and amazing country.
Not only is Madagascar different from nearly all other places on earth, but it’s incredibly different from one side of the island to the other. From the capital of Antananarivo to the village of Ambato Boeni, you’ll travel through a densely populated city to grasslands, rolling hills, the windswept peak of the island, lush forests and then the dusty Boeni region, all within 600km! The rapid transformation of the country as you drive across it is spectacular!
Madagascar is a country that most people will only ever dream of visiting. Creating a better world is something that we all strive to do as Scouts. Here’s your chance to bring both of these together in a life-changing adventure.