As we prepare to announce our 2020 national and internationally faculty led trips, we are taking a look back at our 2019 Project Week trip to Madagascar!

Starting over Project Week 2019, French teacher Mme Seye, five students, and their families traveled to Madagascar for 14 days to explore the African country and practice their French. The trip included visits to Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, the Iconic Baobab Alley, Andasibe-Mantadia National Park for its lemurs, Canal des Pangalanes for the ugly/cute “Aye-Aye,” and Ile Sainte Marie for its beaches.

All who went report that it was an amazing experience. Here’s what the students, their parents, and Mme. Seye have to say:

"Not only did the Madagascar trip broaden my French communication skills, it opened my eyes to an ecosystem rarely seen—over 90% of it exists nowhere else on Earth. Mme Sèye and our tour group did an amazing job showing us all the best of Madagascar, and it's a trip I'll never forget!" — Katerina K. ’20

Madagascar (20)

"My experience in Madagascar was amazing. I really loved seeing the ugly (sorry) Aye-Aye, as there are only 100 are left in the wild. Since it is nocturnal, we ventured out to see it at night. In addition, I enjoyed seeing the Fossa, which is the only known predator of the lemurs. I was also impressed with the Malagasy people, because they are incredibly friendly and have beautiful restaurants (that served us delicious food!). I would definitely recommend Madagascar to everyone.” — Willie S. ’27

"My favorite part of Madagascar was Lemur Island near the Vakona Forest Lodge. I really enjoyed the lemurs jumping on us and especially liked feeding them. I also really liked the canoe ride around the island and seeing all the other species of lemurs, including King Julian!"— Edward S. ’26

"I really liked Madagascar because we saw exquisite beaches and scenery. My favorite part was probably the magnificent Avenue of the Baobabs; it was stunningly beautiful! I also liked getting to practice my French." – Tony Z. ’21

Madagascar (10)

"My favorite part was when the lemur jumped on us at Lemur Island, because its fur was so soft and plush, and I successfully avoided any dangling poop!" – Jaiden B. ’26

"For me, the best part of this journey to and throughout all of the various regions of Madagascar was seeing the sense of joy and wonderment in my students’ eyes. I also enjoyed hearing them use their French and was especially proud when they delivered supplies to a school nestled on the banks of the Indian Ocean and the Pangalanes Channel. What a high!" – Mme Sèye, Subject Expert Teacher in French

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"What I enjoyed the most was learning how much this trip affected my son, hearing about how quickly he adapted and discovering how much he learned. My wife and I are very proud of him.” — father of Willie S. ’27

"Madagascar is one of the most unique places on Earth, and our itinerary gave us a chance to experience all of it, from an up-close encounter with a shy baby lemur to an amazing sunset surrounded by thousand-year old baobab trees. Not to mention some epic father-son bonding time!" — father of Jaiden B. ’26

Madagascar (18)

"It was wonderful to see the BASIS Independent McLean students bond and learn about this part of the world together, outside of the classroom. A trip like this gives the opportunity for students to open their minds to the world and apply what they've learned inside the classroom.” — parents of Katerina K. ’20

"The Alley of the Baobabs was the most visually stunning, and the chameleons were the most fascinating. However, I think that the part of the trip that had the most impact on me was seeing the local villages and schools and how they live their lives. It helped me realize how lucky we are in the United States and that the quality of life we have is often taken for granted. I believe this is a valuable lesson that is very important for our children to learn at an early age in order to better appreciate the life they lead." — mother of Edward S. ’26

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We love helping our students explore their world outside the classroom! There’s so much to learn. Current parents can expect an upcoming communication about our 2019–20 national and international trips.