English is Haj's third language, learned during the extracurricular 'English club' at Toliara's marine science institute (IHSM). It was one of the many skills he was able to develop during his scholarship.
My days in the expedition, I can’t write exactly what I felt there in Andavadoaka during this six weeks, you know what? It was too much wonderful and unforgettable that there is no word to tell it. But I will tell you in few word how it was for me.
First, for the scholarship, I really enjoyed it because it gave me more practice for what I learn in the university - I study marine sciences and I can practice in real what I learn. It was a little bit easy for me to learn the benthic organisms but I’m sure that the other guys got a lot from these scientific lectures as I did when I had fish identification lecture, cause I didn’t learn vertebrates before.
Next, about diving. I’m very happy to have now a qualification in PADI! Because of how much it costs it is impossible and inaccessible for a Malagasy. So, that’s why I’m so happy to be part of the expedition…now I’m Advanced Open Water Diver, thanks guys!
After that, life on site. It’s given me a vision of other people’s lives and thinking. It’s given me many relationships and many friends. I enjoyed everything that I did there and it was an honour for me to teach a Malagasy song to Vazaha people - they were excellent!
Last, I just want to give many thanks to Blue Ventures for choosing me to be part of this expedition, to all BV staff for their help, and for all the volunteers. Thanks every one.
In August 2008 Haj sent us an update on how he has got on scince he finished his scholarship with Blue Ventures. He is now studying for a Masters Degree at the IHSM, and planning to use research carried out with Blue Ventures as part of his research project.
After Blue ventures, I’m now following my study in the university of Marine Sciences and preparing for my Masters. My scholarship in Blue Ventures gave me not only lots of knowledge for my studies (practical knowledge, more than the other students have actually) but also gave me an opportunity to do a research project with Blue Ventures about octopus fisheries monitoring. I hope to start this in September, and the best thing on it is that we’ve discussed with the teachers in the university and I can use the fruit of this research for my master research project!