Richard Branson in Madagascar
O ne of the greatest part of having a job you like is that you keep on learning while you’re in the field. You learn about life, you learn about people and more than anything, you learn about yourself. A couple of weeks ago, I had the awesome chance to spend a few days with a special group that included Sir Richard Branson. For those of you who are lacking « culture », like me, Richard is the founder of « VIRGIN group »-with 400 or so companies-. He is not one of those « black suit and tie » guy -which is a bit weird since it’s the first picture that comes in mind when thinking of a business magnate-.
T he goal of this trip was to introduce Richard to Madagascar- culture, environment and life wise- and the importance of it’s biodiversity conservation. And who else to introduce the challenges and the issues we’re facing than the greatest and « lemur lover » scientist Russell Mittermeier! This journey was filled with great stories and memories: first time to see an Aye aye – and guess what? she had A BABY!-, for the newbies, finding an aye aye in the wild is really hard and seeing one with a baby, in the forests, might happen once in a lifetime- so yes! I was having a blast! Then we learned about Necker Island and the conservation projects Sir Richard has in mind, met a « too intelligent » dude from BBC who was making a documentary on evolution… an other life experiences that you will never have sitting in an office or in a classroom.
T he last couple of days were spent in Anjajavy: one of Madagascar’s paradisiac places. The beach is amazing and the sunset is just breathtaking. This place is just beautiful. By the end of the journey, we’ve met Coquerel’s sifakas jumping around « baobabs on the rocks », wrapped up Richard’s interviews where he talks about the way he sees conservation, and got a few words from Russ on why everyone should get involved in saving the biodiversity. Just as a note, Sam (Richard’s son) proposed to beautiful Isabella’s hand in this magical place by the end of the trip…and she said « yes »!