Post written by Kimberley Fortin
Climb a mountain, ride an elephant, win a photo contest, try exotic foods, bungee jump, learn a foreign language, travel and volunteer in every continent, learn to cook, receive full scuba diving certification, learn to play the ukulelle, help others every day... these are just a few of the items on my bucket list. Have you ever heard about something and immediately known you wanted to do it? This is how I felt when I learned of the Scouts Canada trip to Madagascar.
I am currently studying International Development and African Studies at McGill University in Montreal (which is also my hometown). While this adventure fits in perfectly with my schooling, it will mark my fourth humanitarian trip abroad and I couldn't be more excited! Madagascar is a country that you rarely hear about, unless it's about the well-known Madagascar movies or a major cyclone has just recently hit. As I have started preparing for this journey, I have learned that there is much more to learn about Madagascar and its people. They are not only living in one of the most diverse animal environments, but they are living a completely different lifestyle than what we are used to here in Canada. From collecting water from wells or rivers, waiting for mangos to drop from nearby trees, to playing soccer with some friends using makeshift items to mark the nets, there is much to learn
For me this trip is not just something else to check off on my bucket list, but an opportunity to experience something new and meaningful by helping make sustainabe change in the Ambato Boeni community in Madagascar. By working with Scouts Canada, I am bringing my commitment to Scouting and my passion for making a difference in the world, together to act. Many people in this world have passions; it could be painting, sports, music, business or even travel. Following your passion and doing something positive with it is something I truly value. While everything we do cannot always change the world, small actions are what make a big difference in our world.