Fountain of LifeSeptember 15, 2019
Newsletter – September 2020September 19, 2020
Nosy Be, an island situated off the northwest coast of Madagascar in the Mozambique Channel, is a place often described as a piece of jewel in the Indian Ocean. Several smaller islands are located nearby and together they form the beautiful archipelago of Nosy Be. It is without a doubt a must-visit when you travel to Madagascar.
The name Nosy Be literally means "big island" in Malagasy language. It is a precious island where pristine stretches of pure white sand beaches, tropical rainforests and its myriad of rare wildlife come together in a heavenly environment. The island's warm and translucent waters feed one’s eyes with the sight of precious corals, marine turtles and exceptional marine wildlife that cannot be found anywhere else on Earth. Nosy Be is home to the second most diverse coral reefs in the world (coral reefs, coral banks, coral islands and protected marine reserves). With catamarans, sailboats and fishermen’s canoes, you can go boating to explore the surroundings of nosy be island or participate in fishing. Extreme sports enthusiasts are spoiled for choice when it comes to water activities. This part of the Indian Ocean is the favorite spot for humpback whales, white sharks and dolphins. Excursions and cruises to discover the seabed and the northern part of Madagascar are ideally arranged for the tourists. Additionally, lush tropical forest and fragrant plantations cover most of the island, harbouring incredibly mixed scents of Ylang Ylang and the sweet captivating fragrance of the best Vanilla in the world.
During our last trip to Nosy Be, we discovered that life over there continues peacefully. On an easy Sunday morning, one wakes up with the natural smell of fire on which tea, coffee and breakfast are being cooked. While cooking, there is music going on in the background with people chanting merrily. It is Sunday and everyone is in a happy and calm mood! Children are playing along the beach with their handmade toys. They are very happy, jumping in and out of the fresh waves of the sea coming towards them, happy with such simple and peaceful life while their moms are busy cooking their meals and watching over them from a distance.
As we travel around Nosy Be, we encountered dense jungles and cross a lot of plantations. One discovers a ton of fruit trees such as almond trees, jackfruit trees, mango trees and papaya trees that are seldom seen in modern cities. The island’s products are mainly ylang ylang used by renowned perfumery houses in Grasse, France, also vanilla, black pepper and cocoa are the exclusive products of the island. The villagers grow fruits, vanilla and coffee to sell on the island. This is one of the ways the villagers are able to provide for their families.
An outing on a Sunday afternoon using a cow cart which is used for daily work as a means of transport is the best time for couples to take advantage of for their own leisure – away from the noise, going the distance and just breathing the fresh air that nature gives. I guess it is what makes the couple extraordinary – them going out on a Sunday to have a picnic and use their cow cart as transportation shows us that it is possible to be happy even if you do not have everything in life, but spending time with your loved ones makes it all worth it. I can’t help but compare the busyness and modern life of the city I came from. I know this island has ahead of them a long way to go but it definitely is possible to reach innovation.
We also realized in Nosy Be that there is one fine line defining the difference between happiness and success, that is contentment and satisfaction. These people are born with a sunny disposition – happy and positive amidst living in difficult situations. It is like seeing the world in a different light, where they embrace the situation no matter how difficult it is because they are content with what they have as long as the family is together. As stated by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Emir of Dubai, in his new book Reflections on Happiness and Positivity, “Positivity is a way of thinking and happiness is a lifestyle. In other words, it is not what you own or do that makes you happy; it is how you think about things.”
Knowing Nosy Be is impoverished, with parents not having enough to educate their children, this is where the Wings of Change project comes in. It is our wish for every underprivileged family of Nosy Be to move forward in their life, so giving their children the best vocational experience will be a door opener of career opportunities which will in turn uplift their families. Together with the whole team, we will make it happen for the future of the young people of Nosy Be and the coming generations.
What an awesome Sunday!