Blogs from Antananarivo, Madagascar, Africa - page 2


Africa » Madagascar » Antananarivo September 24th 2009

Rice paddies. Rickshaws. Names full to bursting with syllables. Old European guys with young local girls. More to the point, facial features. Even if archaeological evidence didn't provide a scientific confirmation, one would know that the roots of the Malagasy people lie far to the east, in what is now Indonesia and Malaysia. In other words, Madagascar was first settled by people from thousands of kilometres away rather than the somewhat closer inhabitants of mainland Africa. This is just one aspect of what makes it such an intriguing country - even now, the highlanders are an Asian culture speaking French in a geographically African location. I've had Madagascar on my mind for a while, but only in the last couple of years has it become an essential to-do if I ever travelled through Africa. Lemurs and ... read more
Cobbled street
View from the balcony
Monument aux Morts

Africa » Madagascar » Antananarivo » Ankorondrano May 1st 2009

3 hours drive north of Madagascar’s capital, Antananarivo, is a small agricultural town named Anjozorobe. It is surrounded by green hills and enormous stretches of rice paddies. Local farmers are certainly liable to the slash and burn culture, which means there are few trees about, but the production of nutritious red rice still has high yields. People wear a huge array of hats. Some don more traditional straw trilbies and sun hats while others adorn a whole range of hats imported by foreign aid charities. American clothes dominate as a result of this. Traditional garb seems rather distant. While I was teaching, the main high school even held a beauty pageant, which although extremely popular, seemed to borrow its entire process from an outside world. Students dressed in tennis gear and brandishing a tennis racket to ... read more
Typical Malagasy Classroom
Zebu in the Paddies
Slash and Burn evidence

Africa » Madagascar » Antananarivo November 23rd 2008

Current residence: Antananarivo Just returned from three weeks spent in Moramanga conducting field research on free-tailed bats living in public buildings in Moramanga. here is a morseau des les choix que je faire durant ces temps:... read more
hammock love

Africa » Madagascar » Antananarivo November 13th 2008

We arrived safely in Tana Madagascar yesterday afternoon. What a trip it has been already - after over 24 hrs of flight time we were a bit jet lagged to say the least. In Tana we made it through customs only to be immediately bombarded by taxi drivers and tourist operators. After finding our airport shuttle was not there we found a new taxi - he put a little bit of gas in the car and we were off. So it is true that the scariest part of a new country is usually the traffic - but there always seems to be a mutual understanding between the drivers, and although it is chaotic there is no yelling or cursing (so far). Outside the city is beautiful with rice fields and grazing cattle, people walking inbetween the ... read more

Africa » Madagascar » Antananarivo November 2nd 2008

Assessing conflict between synanthropic bats and people in Moramanga Bat Communities in Civil Service Buildings: Population size, frequency, and Human Relations I will be studying the free-tailed bats (Molossidae)that roost in public buildings, particularly schools and hospitals, in the eastern town of Moramanga. The objective of the study is to determine what buildings are inhabited by bat colonies, and the perception of the local people to the bats. The study will help to determine the extent of the problem (if one exists) the bat populations pose to the community. I will be working with the Malagasy organization called Madagasikara Voakajy ( In 2007, Madagasikara Voakajy was alerted about a bat problem in the Ambahibe Primary School in Moramanga where teachers complained about the large colony of free-tailed bats that roost above the classrooms. ... read more


Africa » Madagascar » Antananarivo November 2nd 2008

Tomorrow I leave Tana, the big city for a the begining of my ISP period (of which I previously posted). here lies a recap of the last few weeks, since Oct. 23: We have been staying in the hotel Raphia, a lovely hotel with an Idian theme that serves delicious food, occasionally smells of raw sewage, and we hear the beautiful song of the call to prayer each day. Many people thus far have been terribly sick. so far, three people have had malaria and my other friend, Danielle, has had both ameobic and bacterial dysentary. Thankfully I have been relatively fine thus far... The capital city of Tanais both beautiful and delapitated. It is an old city with French archetecture, due to colonization, but it is similar to most nations disabilitated by poverty in the ... read more
National Parks

Africa » Madagascar » Antananarivo September 16th 2008

Africa » Madagascar » Antananarivo September 15th 2008

Well, I'm back in Calgary but thought I better write an entry for my time in Madagascar... The landscapes, flora and fauna of Madagascar really are out of a fairy tale land. Walking around the tsingy I couldn't believe that this was actually what the rock really looked like, and lets not forget watching the lemurs jump from tree to tree, decent distances too. Unfortunately Madagascar is also very poor and it snaps you back into reality, you want to do something to help these people, but what is the best and most effective way??? I arrived in Madagascar with no plan and very rusty french and no Malagasy at all....but by the next day I was on a trip to float down the Tsiribihina River and go see the Tsingy (means to walk on your ... read more
Tsiribihina River
Tsiribihina River Chameleon
The road from the River to the hotel

Africa » Madagascar » Antananarivo July 16th 2008

From Matt - Just sent nana, karl and assany to the airport. They should be back in the motherland in 24 hours. Vance Rush and I will fly to Joburg in the morn and will have a 22 hour layover before leaving for Kruger Nat. Park. We will be staying at a very plush photo safari resort called Manwana. Look it up on the internet. I feel certain they will have satellite internet but they may not. If we drop of the net for 4 days you'll know why. I'm on a french keyboard again tonite and it is really hard to compose what i want to say and hunt and peck at the same time!! Vance and Rush are passed out upstairs and so I had hoped to upload a bunch of pics but these ... read more
Central Madagascar
Typical housing in C. Madagascar
Typical transport in C. Madagascar

Africa » Madagascar » Antananarivo July 12th 2008

From Matt - As you will see below the rest of my family arrived in 'Tana last night. Very strange to be sitting around in Madagascar so far from home with all my brothers and my mother! I really wish our wives were here too! It's hard to even think about them without getting soggy eyes. I figure we are laying the groundwork for a future visit here with them included. We had to scoot out of Cairo without time to really make a good entry about our last day there so here is what I had left to say about Cairo. After all the hassle with our driver and the extortion at the Pyramids we assumed it would be the same in Old Cairo at Khan-Al-Kahllili. (sp?) We were pleasantly surprised when just the opposite ... read more
Vance and Karl near lake in 'Tana
Vance and Rush in 'Tana
Dinner before commencement

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