This is one of two personal diaries kept by Francis Hambly documenting his visit to Madagascar in 1963.
Francis, then aged 17, became the first Quaker Oversees Volunteer to serve in the country. He arrived in Antananarivo in January 1963 and spent the first three weeks living at the family home of John Arnold, Quaker leader of the Friends Centre at Faravohitra. He spent this time improving his French in preparation for his posting to Soavinandriana, where he was to teach mathematics, physics and English.
In Soavinandriana, Francis stayed with Audrey and Michael Langford and their sons Stephen and Jeremy. Michael was headmaster of the town's Friends school, where Francis taught for two terms. During the final six weeks, he moved to stay with deputy headteacher M Radan. Assisted by a young teacher, M André, Francis also set up a Cub Scout group at the school. In the Easter vacation, he joined a Scout camp at Ambositra, where he met Australian Scout leader Ken Smith.
After completing his posting in Soavinandriana in August, Francis returned to Antananarivo, where he met up with Josephine Rasoharinasolo (known as Nasolo), a Malagasy Quaker girl of his age whom he had befriended at the start of his trip. She introduced him to Dougie Barker, a young kilt-wearing Scotsman who had just arrived to lead the Edinburgh University 1963 Zoological Expedition to Madagascar. It was through this connection that Francis came to join the expedition as their translator. The team explored the south of Madagascar in their Land Rover until the time came in September for Francis to leave them and return to England to start his university studies.
His friend Nasolo later visited England and stayed with his family.