Photo by Ben Rifkin
By Ben Rifkin
For years before I started college, I knew I wanted to spend a semester studying abroad, but I wasn't sure where. By my junior year at Brandeis, I made up my mind to travel somewhere off the beaten path, and, of course, Madagascar is pretty far off the beaten path for someone like me.
Through the SIT Madagascar: Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management program, based out of Fort Dauphin, Madagascar, I lived with two host families, took classes, visited national parks, and undertook an independent study project in the tropical dry forest of Ankarana, among many other wild adventures.
During the four months I spent traversing the country, I met some great people, visited so many beautiful places, and saw an incredible array of wildlife, while discovering some of the harsh realities of a nation suffering extreme poverty.
In an effort to capture this experience for myself, and for friends and family back home, I attempted to document my time there through my photographs as best I could. Using my little Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS5 I managed to successfully capture a large portion of my trip, though I did make an effort not to have my eye glued to the viewfinder and finger on the shutter the whole time, which was hard to not do.
These photographs are a handful of my favorites with no particular theme other than to portray a general sense of what I experienced during my time in Madagascar. I hope you enjoy these, and appreciate a little bit more of the rich, natural beauty surrounding the poverty that exists in just one corner of this world.
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Life and wildlife in Madagascar