Aren Ammari recently took part in our Forest Conservation volunteer program as well as
teaching English. He is just 18 years old, hails from Los Angeles, California, USA and has been volunteering with us for 24 weeks.
“I have never felt at home at ‘home’. Being born and raised in Los Angeles, I was surrounded by a concrete world. I’ve always been interested in nature, watching documentaries, constantly harassing my parents for trips to the zoo. My heart yearned for the wild, craved to hear the flow of a river, to breathe the air of the natural world. Picking a place to go wasn’t too hard; Madagascar screams at visitors with all that is nature.
Landing on Nosy Komba, I felt like a curious child, this tiny island, our small volunteer community. The people lived differently than what I was accustomed to, in a place on the opposite end of the spectrum to where I had come from. A proverbial ‘lost world’, I was instantly immersed in this ancient and beautiful place. Trees towering over me, birds singing in the trees above, and lemurs howling in the night. Seeing these amazing animals, these creatures I’ve been seeing in my nature books since I was a child.
This place was truly the naturalists promised land. For anyone with any interest in the odd, in the razzle dazzle that nature has to offer, this place is all you could have hoped for. Chameleons are standard fare, lemurs a casual walk through the park. This was home, a real, loving home. From the volunteers to the local people, I have never felt so comfortable, so loved and so cared for. This was home, on this tiny island of mine.”
Whether you are travelling abroad for your gap year or wish to enjoy an eco tour holiday adventure, volunteering in Madagascar is a once in a lifetime opportunity not to be missed.