Meet the 2019 Camp Fi Team!

We have an incredible team lined up to make Camp Fi 2019 our best camp ever this September. Read all about them!


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BAO TOHIN'NY AINA RAKOTOANDRIANA

I am known by my friends as Bao Tohin'Ny Aina, a 19 years old girl who likes volunteering and being involved in any social causes that may lead people to bettering. I am in second year college at Catholic University of Madagascar studying Social Sciences for development. Since CampFi 2018 was, in my opinion, really lit and helped me to process about a lot of things, taught me to see life differently and in a wider perception, gave me the opportunity to meet incredible people and mostly encourage some kids to be a better version of themselves, I hope to be able do redo all of this all over again when I still can.


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CAREN RAMANANTOANINA

I am a 21 years old ambivert girl whose the main purposes are to go places and see people in order to make my mind grow and to bring my contribution to make the Earth a better place to live. And I am actually excited for CampFi2019 because I am convinced that it is a way to connect with people that may have the same mindset as myself, or even better, people that have greater perspectives.


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Felana Razakamahefa

I am a young african leader passionate about youth enpowerment. Specialized in business and entrepreneurship coaching, I enjoy giving back to my community by strengthning young people capacities in creating their own business. Currently, I am a selfemployed in agribusiness in Moramanga. During my free time, I like volunteering within various youth associations and NGOs dealing with youth civic engagement and environement protection. Now I am really exited to contribute at the CampFi2019 because its objectives matches my values and missions which are standing against any kinds of discriminations, giving hand to the most needed people and encouraging young people to be the change in the world for the future generation.


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HARRY SEDRA

I'm Sedra. Third year student at Catholic University of Madagascar and I'm really exited about to share my smile, my knowledge and my contribution for the social development with my little brothers and all of us for the first time of my LIFE. Wow... I love reading, trekking, the long trips and all forms of the art. I do soccer, basket-ball, photography, drawing and I'm a enthusiast handyman.


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HERIZO DIDIER TSIMANDRESY

My name is Herizo, I'm 19, I'm from Madagascar, and I'm currently a second year student in macroeconomics at Catholic University of Madagascar, and CampFi2019 is a great opportunity for me to experiment my leadership, by helping my fellow citizens, and also to have fun with everybody there


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JESSICA RAZANADRAKOTO

I’m more excited now than when we started camp 3 years ago! Everyone has been working really hard to make CampFi2019 happen, and one thing I’m really looking forward to is seeing lives being changed. I’m excited for fun, self-discovery, initiatives, growth, tears and laughters. 

When I’m not thinking about camp, which rarely happens, I do kickboxing, hike, bike, read books, use myself as a research instrument and think about other innovative ways to bring development in my community and the overall country of Madagascar. 

CampFi2019! Bring it on!


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JO XIZI

Hi, my name is Jo Xizi. I’m currently studying clinical medicine in Shanghai and going to start masters of women’s health in London. Outside of medicine, I’m a capoeirista, a dancer with a focus on contemporary dance & improvisation and a feminist. I’m so excited for #CampFi2019, because I’m returning with a whole different self and perspective. I can’t wait to learn from everyone and do what I can to make this year’s camp nourishing for the participants.


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LAURA PATTERSON

I am so excited for the 3rd edition of Camp Fihavanana. Each year, I have the unique opportunity to work on a staff of incredible people who are dedicated to transformation, leadership, courage, and fun. I am blessed by the friends that I have made in Moramanga, with not only staff, but also community members and campers. Thank you to all of our supporters who have made each year possible!


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MANDA ARON' NY AINA RAKOTOANDRIANA

Being a Malagasy and having Madagascar as motherland are the reasons that have always motivated me in my life. Being raised within the scout association since my childhood, i am here to leave the world better than i found it and to share happiness because everyone deserve it. I am confident that Camp Fi 2019 is made for me because i know that we share the same vision and values. « Alive to serve » and « Be prepared » are one of my favorites phrases and have always guided me through my life to accomplish my mission. Moreover, i think that one of the ways to restore its values to Malagasy society, according to my experiences, is to teach the youth : to be devoted in good causes for society, to build up honest and loyal relationships, to be trustworthy and to serve without waiting in return, that is FIHAVANANA for me. So, proud of who i am because of what Madagascar gives to me, my turn has come to give back to my country and compatriots as a sign of thankfulness, the concept of FITIA MIFAMALY.


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MIA SOLOHARISON

I am excited to join #CampFi2019 because I want to share my passion and to help other human beings through that.


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RANJA HARIMAN RABEHOAVY

Passionate and motivated...eager to share and make a change in someone's life!


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RILEY VANEK

I’m from Lincoln, Nebraska. I currently work as an environmental engineer, and am passionate about leadership development, social impact, and travel.


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SOPHIE CONNOT

I’m a graphic designer from Lincoln, Nebraska. I love to make things with my hands, take photos and cook.

I can’t wait for Camp Fi 2019! Since embarking on this venture 4 years ago, I’ve grown to love Madagascar and the people who live there more than I ever thought possible. I’ve also grown to love adding Malagasy sakay to everything I eat.


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STEPHAN LABOY

I am a Peace Corps volunteer originally from Lincoln, Nebraska. I love music, gardening, and adventure. I'm excited for #CampFi2019 because I really think this camp will make a difference in the lives of the young people who will attend!


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T MONTES

I am a world-renowned full-time king of smoothies, full-time student. Ever since my first camp experience, I've known that my career lies with the power of kids. While camp is that magical place where kids can explore their most authentic selves, Camp Fihavanana takes it a step further -- Camp Fi is that magical place where kids can lead themselves to be everything they've ever wanted. And as a professional camper (AKA large child), I can't wait to see Camp Fi's magic at work!


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TANTELY EVA RABARISOA

I am a very talkative girl that really enjoy having fun and meeting new people. I like going on adventure and volunteering a lot. If I describe my life, 75 - 80 percent of my free time I devote it to volunteering. I find peace inside of me every time I help or giving my time to another person.


MIANGOLA CHRISTELLE RATSIMBA

I am excited for CampFi2019 because I like being surrounded, I enjoy discovering new thing and new people, which has their own situation and story.


Johany Marios RANDIMBIARISON

My name is Marios. I’m studying political science at Catholic University of Madagascar. I love discovering and I want to spend my life traveling all over the world. I also love art and soccer but what excites me the most about CampFi2019 is to share my vision as a way to connect with others so they can see things from a different point of view. I hope this experience will change a lot of lives for the better.

Goals, Yo

We call it the ‘Community Code,’ but I find the final product more artistic than traditional expectations. Our code of conduct is a conglomeration of ideas, the sum of them outlining our hopes, fears, and actions.  

We began by writing down our hopes for camp on a scrap of paper, crumpling our words up, and throwing them into the center of the circle we sat in. We summarized those words and wrote them down in the center of a poster-board sized piece of paper. Using the same method, we wrote down our greatest fears for the upcoming weeks. Our fears were written down along the edges of the paper. Finally, and most importantly, we brainstormed ideas on how to combat those fears, and those ideas filled the remaining space on the paper.

Our desires for camp follow two general themes: opportunities to experience the unknown and a hunger to learn. We want to explore sports, science, and art. We are eager to learn from campers and each other as well as experience a new language and culture. We are thirsty to grow, to build friendships, to laugh, and to cry.

Talk about hefty goals.

With great expectations comes great fear. Though, I think we can hardly be blamed considering the immense task we attempt to undertake. A good number of us feel some sort of trepidation when it comes to language barrier, and this particular fear translates into a worry that us counselors will be unable to connect with our campers. We are worried our preparations will lack, and there is a safety concern for both campers and staff. On top of it all, sleep deprivation appears imminent and for some of us, there is that lovely, looming possibility of traveler’s diarrhea.

After coming to this particular part of the brainstorm, our team brainstormed how to combat our greatest fears. Really, it centers on the idea that this is not a one-person-show. We depend on clear communication, practice, determination, and support for one another (we are cheerleaders for each other and the campers!).

When brainstorming solutions, the team spent a longer time exploring the idea of self-care and safe-spaces. Camp will stretch us physically, mentally, and spiritually, requiring us to take time for rejuvenation. We also need a place to speak, to ask honestly, and to answer with love. Encouragement and support for one another is integral for camp to function at its best.

Upon further reflection, I decided that Camp is not about easy. We don’t need easy; we need possible. Some of our hopes are tied up in and entirely dependent on these next two weeks being a challenge, which means we all require an immense amount of courage.

I would lie to say I don’t share the fears of my teammates. In the weeks before my coming, I found myself bemoaning my fears to various family members. One of these people was my mom, who decided with my dad and family that we would take a refugee minor into our home in January. To my mom I specifically fretted about the language barrier. I asked her, “How am I supposed to be a counselor to kids who don’t speak the same language?”

She replied, “And how am I supposed to be a mom to a daughter who doesn’t speak English?”

Touché.

At this point, it appears the best option is to move forward with confidence and humility. We have our ideas and expectations, and more importantly, we have each other. Lord willing, great adventures lie ahead.

Here I am

The doors of the airplane opened, and hundreds of passengers flooded the grounds of Antananarivo, Madagascar. The sun was shining with the perfect breeze flowing which was a pleasant change from Southern California weather. I immediately knew this was going to be an incredible week.

It took a bit of time to get through immigration/visa and to gather my luggage. As I stepped outside the double doors of the airport, a small sign that read “CAMP FIHAVAHANA- DAHE JUN” greeted me. As I arrived at the car, there was a man slouched in the back seat passed out. It was Simon, a fellow camp facilitator, who arrived an hour before me and just was catching up on some sleep as he was waiting for me. I knew the drive from the airport to Moramonga would take 2 hours. As 2 hours passed, we were nowhere near our destination. Luckily Simon speaks French, so he was able to communicate with our driver. The driver told us it would take a us few more hours because we had to make a stop to pick up cake for Jessica’s dad’s birthday. At this point, it’s been 3 flights 35 hours, and thousands of miles away from home. I was exhausted and questioning if all this travel was worth it. Was the camp worth it? What am I even doing here?

A few hours later, we arrived at the hotel and was greeted by the team with hugs and smiles and immediately my exhaustion and doubt disappeared. We arrived just in time for Jessica’s dad’s birthday and when Malagasy people party…THEY PARTY. It was such a great welcoming to the community and a small peak of what the weeks to come would look like.

Through it all, Jet lagged, hungry, smelly. Here I am. Ready for the weeks to come. To learn and immerse myself in the culture and community. Hoping along the way to learn from my team and campers and in return take a piece of Camp Fi home with me.

How Do YOU Define Success?

This is the big question I have been asking myself as we are leading into the first week of camp. How do I define success? I have been fortunate to have a team to help me figure out the answer to this big question. One said that success means being happy. Another one said success means reaching your goal, which raised a follow up question: what if I did not reach my goal, but I still learned a life lesson through the process? Does that mean I failed? This is a tough one, isn’t it?

This question led to another definition of success: growth and learning through the process and or about each other.

Though you might have hoped to get a definite definition of the word success, I am sorry to tell you that I still don’t have an exact answer for you. As a team, we came to terms that the idea of success shifts through the journey. It depends on each and everyone’s journey and response to a situation. When something goes wrong, did we help each other? Or did we throw fit?

At Camp Fi, we hope to find and define success by taking our campers through the human levels of thinking. What happened? How did that make you feel? What’s the point? Now what?

I hope you can also ponder, define, and share your definition of success with us. How do you define success?

Ankasitrahako ny Camp Fihavanana satria...

CAMP FIHAVANANA, zavatra iray anisan’ny nanamarika ny fiainako. Ny taona 2017 moa ny andiany voalohany tamin’ny CAMP FI, izay nandraisako anjara ho anisan’ireo « Staff Camp Counselor ». Anisan’ny nanamarika ahy ny fiarahana tamin’ireo tanora namana vahiny izay nanome izay rehetra azony nomena noho ny fitiavany an’i Madagasikara sy ireo ankizy gasy nahazo tombony tamin’izany. Maro ny zavatra niarahana sy niainana na dia roa herinandro fotsiny ary, tao anatin’ny fihavanana tanteraka sy fifaliana ary fitiavana. Zavatra iray manokana tokoa ny CAMP FI satria dia manampy ny fahalalan’ireo ankizy amin’izay zavatra mety tsy hitany any am-pianarana na any an-tranony kanefa ilainy amin’ny fiainany. Azo tanisaina ohatra ny momba ny fitarihana (Leadership), ny fahalalana sy fampivoarana ny tena manokana (Personal development and self-knowledge), ny fiainana an-tarika (Group life) ary indrindra ny momba ny fitiavan-tanindrazana sy ny FIHAVANANA.

Naniry mafy tokoa moa ny tenako ny mbola ho isan’ny CAMP FI tamin’ity taona 2018 ity, kanefa noho ny antony manokana amin’ny adidy sy andraikitra dia tsy afaka nitondra anjara biriky. Hany hamaranako ny teniko ary dia ny firariana ny soa sy fahombiazana ho anareo izay hitondra ny CAMP FI 2018, mahereza rahalahy sy ranabavy isany. Misaotra manokana ihany koa an’ireo toko telon’ny CAMP FI dia i Jessica RAZANADRAKOTO, Laura PATTERZON ary Sophie CONNOT.