Gala was born in Russia, grew up in Madagascar and is now living in Paris. We talked about the challenges she had to overcome growing up in Africa being one of the only white girls in school, her decision to move, and the plans and aspirations she has for the future.
“We weren’t part of the “vazahas” (foreigners) who lived on a villa, drove a 4×4, or shopped in supermarkets. I have nothing against them of course. We lived in a small cottage, our malagasy neighbors were family. Bikes or local “taxi brousse” (small buses, where people are packed like sardines in a can) got us around town. We bought fresh products at the local market.
It was difficult to see such poverty and lack of opportunities. And it was hard also to be far from our family for such a long time (10 years without seeing them). My mother helped me adapt in incredible ways. Her love for the island – its people and its diverse nature – was contagious and we never got bored with her. We traveled to the sea several times a year and met incredible people. I lived through moments that many do not have the chance to experience. God always provided for us when we had nothing and I was happiest when I lived on that magical island.”
A God who called me “child” and whom I wanted to have a relationship with. Many things came together for me to become aware of this reality. Following this, I was able to forgive a man who had abused me several years earlier, something I very rarely have the courage to talk about, but that I know I should talk about more. I was freed from many dark emotions and scars. I still have to work very hard at trusting men, but I knew then that what had happened didn’t define me as a person and didn’t define my future.
Photography by: Ania Volovique | VOLOVIQUE.com | Ania@Volovique.com
Make-up by: Missy MacKintosh |Missymackintosh@gmail.com
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