“TOKO TELO MAHAMASAKA NAHANDRO”- THE TRIPOD that cooks the meal: 3 stones placed as a tripod and used for holding a cooking pot over a fire.
Student 1: I kinda need a DayQuil. Colin: We don’t have any DayQuil, but what’s up? Tell me about your symptoms! Student 1: I have the sore throat and runny nose that’s been going through the group. Colin: Our nasal decongestants didn’t seem to help the other folks–let me see what I can dig up to help. The best thing is to start drinking some hot herbal tea with honey, to help soothe your throat and to help loosen up the congestion. It’s been taking folks a couple days to heal. Let’s keep checking in about it.
Student 2: We would like to hear about the History of Madagascar. Micah: I’ve been waiting so long for someone to ask me that. That’s my favorite topic to lead and I am more than happy to share.
Student 3: We would like to hear about Vanilla, and culture Sidonie: I am from Antalaha, the capital of vanilla, I would love to share all that I know of. I will also do my best to find spaces for you to connect you with locals and to watch and live diverse culture during Homestay, trekking and so on.
In each Dragons’s program around the world, there is one tripod which is composed of 3 pillars: 3 in 1 which we call an I-team. The 3 pillars are the 3 instructors who are mostly from different backgrounds and nationalities but professionally reunited and trained by Dragons to be resilient and shock proof. The tripod has been tested through years and through a wide range of scenarios to support a big container full of survival and experiential ingredients to be used and cooked for 2/4/6/weeks or 3/9 months in collaboration with a group of students who are all cooks to be global chefs. The tripod gradually turns invisible to create learning zones for students as well as to encourage them to be independent, critical and global citizens using local resources and equipments for survival skills.
In Madagascar, 10 students joined the cooking station/ Fatana with their prior knowledge, hopes and some fears on September 29. They came with their group and individual needs, interests and goals too. Since week 1, all of the 10 students have collaboratively accepted to take different roles. They were also given assignments to explore with locals new recipes of doing things differently, and encouraged to inquisitively reflect on their newly acquired findings from different communities during Homestay, trekking and while traveling to places. Each student has been given a space to exchange and share their experience in Malagasy, French and English. All students as a group and as individuals have been challenged and contributed a lot.
We are now in week 5: the X-phase during which students are taking their full responsibilities. They are now figuring out to be independent planners, logisticians, reminders when the alarm clocks die, motivators and leaders, those are just a few. Literally, students turn into chefs multitasking: creating more meaningful recipes that their future selves, stomachs and souls will thank them back for accepting the present challenge with lots of courage.
Allow me to sincerely give thanks to Where There Be Dragons for granting priceless trust to all the TOKOTELO / tripods and to honor the volume of flexibility and how complementary all the Dragons tripods are! And tons of gratitude to our irrespective students who have all sweated a lot in their hard work, thousand miles away from their comfort zone. They undoubtedly deserve the biggest pride from all of us!