Blueprint Earth volunteer Desiree Espericueta shares poetic notes and photos from her field experience in Madagascar, demonstrating that BE volunteer trips into the Mojave are just the start of other Earth-exploring adventures! On a sobering note, despite being a remote island (and the stuff of fun, animated movies), this fairytale environment is just as susceptible to harmful human intervention as other places on the planet, with the evidence to prove it. It is worthy of our attention and affection, says Espericueta. She writes:
The forests of Madagascar showed me more than I could have asked for and taught me every day in unexpected ways. This fairytale island was the most giving and gracious of lands, offering breathtaking views in every direction and a larger-than-life array of unique plants and animals, never once making me feel unwelcome or uncomfortable.
I left Madagascar understanding the astounding beauty and diversity of the island that sits on the brink of extinction if ignored. The gem that is Madagascar is invaluable. There are compassionate people and dedicated scientists working toward saving the wildlife of this island by creating no-take-zones, forming protected forest boundaries, and earning grants for educational and environmental movements. When, though, will we plant enough trees to replace what has been taken? One afternoon, while on a survey, our team was sharing our favorite idioms, and one of the Malagasy forest experts aptly said: One tree is not a forest. I am forever indebted to Madagascar for showing me the hauntingly beautiful meaning of this phrase.