Who am I to complain about Malagasy inefficiency, barely having spent 3 weeks in this country? Still, it hurts me inside to see when time, money and human resources are wasted, especially regarding the urgency and importance of our mission, that is, conserving the little that is left of Madagascar’s incomparable nature, with countless species that exist nowhere else on Earth.
Me, and a group of other volunteers, have the honourable task of being the main attraction – since we are “vazaha”, foreigners – of an exhibition about the project on aerial surveillance, which we are showing in several villages this week. Fair enough, but our motivation and ambitions go a little further than just having the locals stare at us, while we can’t do anything but sitting on a chair – considering that very few people speak French, and our Malagasy doesn’t go beyond a few phrases yet, so we have to leave all explanations and answering questions to the Malagasy WWF staff present. I can’t help but wonder if we couldn’t be doing something much more useful in the meantime. While I am at it, I also wonder why the WWF car keeps going back and forth between different places throughout the whole day, while we sit and wait for it to be over. Isn’t there a way to go about this in a more organized manner?
While I use the hours of inaction to make a mental list of suggestions for improvement, I know that there are good reasons for things being the way they are, and that I should take a lot of time to understand them, before coming to a rashy, arrogant-collonial judgment.