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.