Cameras for Conservancy in Madagascar

For a month in November & December Cameras for Conservancy President, Kristie Burns, took photos for Conservation Fusion in Madagascar for use in their fundraising materials, grant applications, social media, books, and other media. Conservation Fusion works in tandem with the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership to teach children the importance of conservation in Madagascar, to enrich educational opportunities for children, to encourage and support reforestation projects, and much more.

Cameras for Conservancy continues to help by bringing images and stories of their work to the public. We will be announcing a book highlighting their conservation work soon! Meanwhile we will share some of the trip journals on this blog. You can see the complete set of trip journals here.

Trip Journal Day 25B: Madagascar Conservation Adventure with @conservfusion and @camerasforconservancy: Today is the O-Rama! It starts at the far end of the villages and ends at KAFS so because of the heat we start at 7:30am, picking up each new school along the way. Each school has kids dressed as their mascots (costumes Susie has designed by hand over the years!) and the rest of the students are dressed up as well with face paint, masks, hair styles, and carrying banners. The O-Rama is like a Mardi Gras for the environment but instead of floats there are banners and instead of alcohol there is kool-aid made from local syrup, 20 kilos of sugar and mixed in a 500 liter container. (Although some kids DO bring old recycled rum bottles to carry their juice in.) and instead of beads there are bright yellow T-shirts. But the music, singing, colorful costumes, celebrating, and chaos would rival any Mardi Gras parade I’ve ever seen!

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Trip Journal Day 25C: Madagascar Conservation Adventure with @conservfusion and @camerasforconservancy: Ambohitsara school students are the “tree-stars of reforestation” and their mascot is the black white ruffed lemur. Fotobohitra’s mascot is the Jolly’s mouse lemur and are the stars of colonization (1st to move into reforestation areas). Kianjavato’s mascot is the leaf-tailed gecko and are the stars of camouflage. St. Dominique’s mascot is the Luna moth and they are stars of pollinization. Ambodibonary’s mascot is the aye-ayes who are Ninjas of the forest with finger extenders. CEG Kianjavato’s theme was the world being held in hands of love. Ambalahosy’s mascot is the chameleon and they are stars of change. Ambolotara’s mascot are suckerfooted bats. Can you find all these animals in the parade photos?

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Trip Journal Day 25D: Madagascar Conservation Adventure with @conservfusion and @camerasforconservancy: Once we arrive at KAFS each school has a performance that consists of a dance based on the mascot of their school. Any of the schools could easily win a dance-off in one of those dance themed movies. Susie was concerned about the crowds and my cameras so she assigned me some “body guards” which was sort of fun because as I was shooting photos I had different guys giving me water, snacks, and different camera bodies to do my work. Although the crowding wasn’t too bad since I’m 6’1” and the crowds were all under 5 foot. It was more like, “Hey, what’s all that ruckus happening down there? It’s nice up here.” Except when I did my photographer squats to get a nice angle for a photo – then it was like diving into the deep end of a dolphin tank. And I’m not talking about the cute dolphins that jump through hoops for fish. I’m talking about the wild dolphins that use puffer fish as soccer balls just for fun.

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Trip Journal Day 25E: Madagascar Conservation Adventure with @conservfusion and @camerasforconservancy: Part 1: The Mascots: Each costume and child was so beautiful I didn’t know who to take a photo of next. It was definitely one of those events where previous experience would have helped but I did my best. Here are some of my favorite portraits…

Trip Journal Day 25E: Madagascar Conservation Adventure with @conservfusion and @camerasforconservancy: Part 2: The Participants: Each costume and child was so beautiful I didn’t know who to take a photo of next. It was definitely one of those events where previous experience would have helped but I did my best. Here are some of my favorite portraits…

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