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Friday, 13th March 2020

10 Years On - A Madagascar Reunion

By Opani Mudalige

On a cold and rainy afternoon this past November, six people travelled across London. Half of them had flown in that morning or the night before from Germany, Turkey and New York. Reaching their destination, all 6 piled into a cozy house to be greeted by familiar faces and smells of memories so far removed from this place - from the time they all shared 10 years ago in sunny and beautiful Madagascar! 

After spending 3 months eating, sleeping and working side by side, and then 10 years apart, it would be fair to say that time could have made us strangers. However the experiences we shared in Madagascar (Mada) created a bond which made it seem like no time had passed at all. We were part of a group of 8 who did everything from collecting seeds for near-extinct trees to building fuel-efficient stoves, and from teaching English and French to building a school house, all as part of SEED Madagascar (then called Azafady)'s October 2009 Pioneers. The other two of our group couldn't make it out to England from the Cayman Islands and Australia, but they were definitely with us in spirit that afternoon. 

Graced with the presence of two of our Azafady guides - Claude and Tinahy - who had moved across to England more recently - we enjoyed casava balls, custard apples, rice and ox meat, while sharing memories of our time in Mada, but also stories about our time since, and the impact, even if small, that our experience in Mada had on our lives.

We cannot thank Azafady (SEED) enough. We came to make a difference in Madagascar, but Madagascar made a difference in us. As a small token of our appreciation we each contributed towards a small donation of 720,000 Ariary (£150) for SEED to continue the amazing work they do in Mada. 

Zebu Hugs from Alex, Ashley, Jonatan, Kev, Marlene, Opani, Sasha and Simon