Blogs from Madagascar, Africa - page 11

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Africa » Madagascar September 4th 2008

Bonjour! today is the secong day i have been in fort dauphin. previously i was in manatantely for a few relaxing days of orientation to madagascar learning the local language, malagasy and trying out my very poor french with a few unlucky malagasy. The keyboard that I am using is a french keyboard so you will have to excusse whatever typos occur please a few words to describe madagascar: green, topographic map material, indian ocean out my window I will be meeting my host family tonight, we have been staying at an old american boarding school (lutheran missionaries) turned hotel which smells like mold i am hoping it is not the bad kind, mais je suis trés heuruse pour ma famile malagasy. Traveling to get here was not great, it just furthered my dislike of airplanes ... read more
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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 » Antsiranana July 14th 2008

From Rush - We got to eat cow yesterday. Karl, Assany and i got to swim in a bay. We found lots of sea shells and two of them had hermit crabs in them. Karl and I caught two sandcrabs while we were looking for shells. Today we went to a national forest. We saw lots of lemurs. We also saw flowers that Uncle Gayle had on her wedding. We saw about three waterfalls. We also saw a 30 mm long Chamellion. Thats a little bit bigger than an inch. We saw a chamellion that was about one half foot long. And we saw a gekko that was about 8 inches long. That was my day - BYE!!!! From Matt - I am on a french keyboard with dial up, so probably no pics and a ... read more
Party at the Beach
Party at the Beach
Nana with some of Assanys relatives

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

Africa » Madagascar » Moramanga July 11th 2008

Hello to everyone After two very long flights and a very windy bumpy drive I am here. I arrived on Wednesday July 9th. I have to say the flights were good. Flying buisness was great. The air france lounges were amazing. All you can drink open bar and food. The food on the plane was even great. As soon as you sit down they offer you a drink of champagne or orange juice. They give out hot hand towels. The seats recline into beds and the pillows were down. Once we got off the plane in Madagascar it was chilly. We went to get our bags and went through customs. The airport looked more like a loblaws than anything. its very small and very busy. As soon as you walk out of the airport a million ... read more

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Africa » Madagascar July 1st 2008

Manakara 28 Jun - 1 July 2008 Quitting Fiana in search of sand and sunshine, we took the train down to Manakara, on Madagascars South-Eastern coast. The train ride was a real adventure. It took the best part of a day to chug down a couple of hundred kilometres, stopping at least a dozen times in quaint little jungle villages to pick up and drop off supplies and people. The scenery was spectacular, as we decended through a mountain range and through lush tropical jungle, but the stops were the real highlight of the trip. Each village offered a different range of snacks to try, and the ladies and kids would come straight up the the windows to sell their stuff from a basket they carried on their heads. We tried barbecued shellfish and smoked whole ... read more
Lady selling tasty bananas and freshly roasted peanuts
Village man
The train to Manakara

Africa » Madagascar » Ambositra June 27th 2008

Anbositra and the highland villages 22-25 June 2008 Well, do we have some stories to tell about our 2nd week in Madagascar! Bush-taxi trips, pousse-pousses, wild weather, village chiefs, bandits and a unique national celebration made the past week one to remember. Choosing to give the pricy tourist busses the flick, we quickly got the gist of the local bus (aka taxi-brousse/bush-taxi) system and left Antananarivo in our wake, heading south on the smooth and pleasant RN7. Our first stopover was Antsirabe, a large highland town that was in colonial days a weekend destination for the upper class, and today retains only the touts, souvenir industries and pousse-pousses....thousands upon thousands of them. A bit like a backwards wheelbarrow with a seat for passengers, the pousse-pousse provides employment (in other words an alternative to unemployment) for around ... read more
Pousse-pousse?
Handy
Siesta time for the pousse-pousse men

Africa » Madagascar » Antananarivo June 25th 2008

Hey all, Very sorry for the extended absence. I had a little while with nothing very exciting going on, as well as being quite sick for the past few days. Here is a short update on what's been going on. Work has been "interesting," to say the least. I had been working on the website for the Ankoay and Carton Rouge projects and finally finished that up. I did run into a bit of a brick wall however. Working in Madagascar is a very different experience. It's been hard getting used to the relaxed time schedule when it comes to meetings (i.e. being told to show up at a certain time to meet with the boss and sitting there for an hour and a half waiting). Also, Madagascar seems to me to have a bad case ... read more

Africa » Madagascar » Antananarivo June 21st 2008

One word to describe what i felt is : Wow ! Madagascar got me in my mind and heart. My trip was too short but it was what i could manage, too many responsibilities ! I spent only ten days in Mada but already thinking of another trip there soon. So i started on the 8th June and landed in Tana the same day. Tana is short for Antananarivo, the bustling capital of Madagascar. Weather was quite cool as Tana is around 1300 metres above sea level. I had already booked a room for my first night in a cosy guest house : the Tana-Jacaranda. Tana is amazing with its old cars, 2 CV Citroen, Renault 4L and even antique Peugeot 204 and 403 !!! As Tana is on the heights and there are multiple hills, ... read more
Near the Zoma
Independance avenue
Kids demonstrating

Africa » Madagascar » Antananarivo June 20th 2008

Antananarivo 16 - 20 June 2008 Bang! I was wrenched from a blissful sleep by a sudden pain in my knee, which had slumped into the aisle and copped the full force of the air hostesses drinks cart. ‘So sorry!’ she exclaimed, blinking a hefty set of eyelashes at me. It could be worse, I thought. I could be working, rather than on a plane to Madagascar for 3 weeks. ‘Its okay,’ I squeaked. I should have known it would be a challenging day when it took two hours to check in at Joburg airport, thanks to a downed computer system. We finally got through after changing check-in counters 8 times, and the plane left more or less on time, but the time we’d hoped to use for breakfast had been swallowed and the aircraft’s light ... read more
Morning tea at the Tana Markets
Who's watching who?
Local laundry basins




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