Dear friends and colleagues,
It is time for me to give you some information about my first 4 days in Madagascar. I am sorry if I did not send any news so far but I arrived late on Sunday and worked all day long every day until now and it will be so for the entire month of July.
I arrived on Sunday night at 23:15 local time but only left the airport at 1:30 in the morning of Monday. Air Madagascar, the local airline company is on strike and my luggage took at least 1 hour to arrive to me to which you needed to add the time for my entrance visa on the territory.
Monday morning at 10:30 I met my partners and colleagues here in Antananarivo and immediately started to work on the first intervention we will have soon, a LEAD training together with the presentation of the project for the official launch in front of the local politicians and ambassadors of UN, EU, UK and representatives of the US Embassy.
The city of Tana is not really nice and the poverty strikes you hardly at every corner of the street. I am used to it due to the many travels I did in the past and got, unfortunately as it should never be so, more or less familiar with it. It can really affect you when little kids are following you in the street to get something to live, have no parents, are dirty as they don’t have access to water or sanitation and have their clothes in pieces and no shoes. So many things you would like to change and my mind of Revolutionary got seriously challenged in “what are you going to do here?” when I face it.
Now, we are in an hotel of the city and facilitate discussion groups to find ways in which our intervention should take place and which orientation we should give to it.
We launched the training officially this morning in front thus of the EU Ambassador, the UK Ambassador, representatives of the US Embassy and UN Ambassador in Madagascar. We also had the Director of the Human Rights Organization for Madagascar (also linked to the UN) and it went very well! They were impressed with our presentation and asked for more information!
I am doing well and start to feel the difference when you work 100% on something that talks fully to your heart. The commitment and dedication is total.
Will keep you updated.
Hughes Van Stichel
Center for Creative Leadership