Sunday, December 4


As our time here in madagascar is coming quickly to a close, we have been spending the last of our days on the west coast in a beautiful little beach town called morondava. White sand beaches, clear blue water, giant baobabs, lush greenery, rainbow lizards, fruit galore… life could not be better. So much has happened in the course of the past month of our independent study projects, don’t know where to begin.  A few “highlights” :
-an old man tried to sell us lemurs on the beach
-witnessed a woman literally shitting on the street (sorry don’t know how else to put it- and this was not a good highlight obviously)
-hung out with jaojoby at his pub in tana (famous Malagasy musician)
-oasis the rasta bar… attempting the Malagasy rhythm – tapiki dancing
-racing in pousse-pousses (human taxis) to the restaurant the pousse-pousse –thank you m. bernard!!
-rats eating my soap bars
-maty rats (dead)
-surprise cockroaches !!! and snake-like bugs.
-sophia became a lawyer… and a wife
-jade found a botanist cure for cancer; starting an ‘export-import’ “business” with her Malagasy bf
-contracted a parasite… it was bound to happen
-really improved my Malagasy bartering skills
-have not yet surpassed maddie in the bongolava rice eating competition, but usually come in as a close 3rd or 4th.
-helped kill and gut some chickens
-have successfully stayed awake through 3 consecutive hours of Malagasy church most Sundays of homestays
-dancing with the gasy… probably my favorite highlight
-homemade rums (easily mistaken with toka gasy.. the illegal but widely consumed alcohol that is sometimes made with formaldehyde.. can make you blind and even kill you... often fermented in such places as hollowed pieces of logs)
-becoming locals at our pink hotely!! they really know how to make a kickass bol renverse
-mofoball extremes
-getting momentarily caught in a brush fire while on the taxibrousse back to tana…
-laughing so hard with jade that we actually fell to the floor


our 'view' at our first hotel in tamatave before going to foulpointe... this is what 2 dollars a night will get you!!!
mmmm fresh coconuts
replacement for turkey and mashed potatoes

tamatave/foulpointe adventure

A few of us designated a week to writing our research papers and decided it would be a good idea to change scenery… we decided to go to tamatave and then further to foulpointe, a beachy destination on the east coast.  It took roughly 8 hours to get to tamatave, and another 2 hours after that to get to foulpointe… all by taxi brousse.  Taxi brousses are essentially vans used for traveling throughout Madagascar – sounds perfectly normal and innocent, but oh my goodness it is not.  First of all, they pack more people into the vans than what seems humanly possible… talk about serious violation of personal space.  We’ve all had Malagasy smelly old men drool on us, fall asleep on us, try to hit on us while squished way too close together… it’s a pretty hilarious set up and makes for some funny stories. Sometimes chickens are involved, other times fish or cats… anything goes. Apart from the space component of the taxi brousses, the actual driving is very scary in my opinion… probably one of the most dangerous things we’ve done here. The roads are extremely windy, very often unpaved in many areas, and normally only allow room for one car width.  No speed limits, no traffic laws or rules of any kind are involved, so huge trucks (usually full of either beer or omby) whip around bends way too fast and it makes for some sticky situations.  Not to mention driving at night … not my favorite thing in the world!
Our week in foulpointe is defined by: beach, seafood, fruit, and research paper.  People selling coconuts would walk up to you on the beach and chop it up right there for you… so refreshing. Also, mangos are in season right now and let me tell you ive never eaten anything so delicious.  Litchis, as well… they are sooooo tasty. In lieu of a thanksgiving feast, we had a local fisherman catch us camarons (giant shrimp), a big fish, and lobster to grill for us (with of course rice and veggies)... which we ate on the beach.  took a pirogue out to snorkel near the coral reef... the pirogues are hollowed out trees.