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It took 3 planes + 14 hours in a van to get to our camp in the forest, where we spent a week without any contact with the rest of the world (and half of the group without suitcases).

A week of going on two 5-hour walks a day and studying the beauty of the Mahajanga forest.



A week of finding spiders and scorpions in our tents and staying up late to see the night sky full of stars.

A week spent with children who live in poverty compared to our own childhoods, but always with the biggest smiles we’ve ever seen on their faces. Seeing these kids’ pure joy when receiving a simple t-shirt or playing football, will be something we will never forget.



After leaving the forest, we drove another 8 hours and finally had wi-fi to talk to our parents.

The next day, we drove 17 hours straight. As we were all cramped, tired and sweaty, our only salvation were the songs from the playlists we made and the ones we invented along the trip.

We arrived at Nosy-Be and were welcomed with normal bathrooms, showers, comfortable beds and a stunning landscape. We lived 30 meters away from the sea, and every day at 7 am we were jumping in the water for our morning dives. We spent the day learning about all the different types of animals and plants we would see on our surveys and helped scientists collect data for their research. At sunset, we went to the water and after dinner we would play a game of cards with the funniest of staff members. In a nutshell, life had never been this good.



We saw beautiful things that will forever remain photographed in our memories. We lived through experiences at the age of 16 that many people never even get to experience during their whole lives. If I were to describe this trip in a few words, I would say it was simply the best decision of my life.


Photos by Sofia Vilarinho

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Wallace House, Old Bolingbroke, Spilsby, Lincolnshire PE23 4EX, UK
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