Alumni Spotlight: Anna Vindenes


Anna is a 20 year old girl from Norway. She loves to travel, photograph and to learn about New cultures.

Why did you choose this program?

I wanted to travel in my summer vacation, and i also wanted to do a smal difference in the place I went. To volunteer seemed like the perfect choice. I have always seen how important research is for conservation and after reading about MRCI I thought that the way they worked on collecting data in Madagaskar was amazing and i wanted to help with what I could.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

IVHQ helped me a lot during my time before departure. The packing list was very helpfull. They also prepared me for what to expect when getting there. I fixed my own flights, visa, and vaccines. I did feel a lot safer traveling, knowing that there was someone who would help me if something went wrong.

When I got to Madagascar, MRCI helped me with all the problems that can occur while traveling (for example, problems with flights and health).

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Bring good hiking boots and lots of mosquito repellent. It is a good idea to bring two pairs of shoes so that one pair is always dry. Flip flops work just fine at camp.

Start to think about your visa and vaccines a while before you go, so that you do not have to stress about that.

My last tip is to bring your camera. This is going to be an amazing experience that you do not want to forget.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

We wake up at dawn and eat breakfast. After that, we would get ready for a hike up to a transect, bird point or wild lemurs. We would stay there for a while to collect data before we went back to lunch. After lunch, we would walk over to the lemur park to study the lemurs there, or have species study at camp so we would be able to help more in the research.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I travelled alone, and before I went, I was afraid that I would be just that, alone. That I would not get new friends to share this experience with. Of course, I knew that this was all in my head.

When I got there, it was easy to see that it was a stupid thing to be afraid of. There were a lot of people at camp and all of them where so nice.

What did you do on your weekends?

There were a lot of things you could do on your weekend on and around Nosy Komba. Nosy Be is only 30 min away by boat. There, you can explore the sacred waterfalls, the amazing beaches, and the restaurants. It is possible to go on Island jumping, arranged by the staff on camp as well. Or if diving is your thing, there are shark dives in the area.