Showing posts from March, 2010

Shhh!! They're sleeping.....

Last week, I wrote a post about the chickens that have a new home in the Expat compound.
I think these chickies will be end up being in a series of posts...'cause they don't seem to be going anywhere and provide me (and a few others) with some serious entertainment.

Every night, their Expat "dad" (giggle) goes out back and turns the patio table on it's side so that the chickens will have a place to roost.

And then in the morning, he goes out back, turns the table back, hoses off the deck, and spreads some corn in the grass (he went into town and bought some).

When I took this picture, the Expat/chicken dad (giggle,'s so fun to type that) was quite protective. It was nighttime, and not only would the flash wake them, but it might hurt their retinas...(yes, I'm serious)....

Another neighbour has kindly offered to bring home some wood, etc so that the chicken dad can build them a proper area to roost.

Seeing as these chickens won't be making a wing-…


As I'm going through my pictures from my drive to Tana and back (that I keep writing about but have yet to post any pictures)...I'm amazed by how gorgeous they turned out. I've seen a very, very small percentage of Madagascar, and I can't beleive how incredibly beautiful it is. There are some places that are completely breathtaking.

And....for every breathtaking scenic moment, there is a scene of heartbreaking and ugly poverty. I think that sometimes...I'm de-sensitized to it all.

Any/every time I go shopping, I'm met by children in tattered clothing begging for money or candy. I try not to think about it.
At the market, there are limbless people begging for change. I try not to think about it. I didn't write about the children from the second village of my canal tour - they literately got savage and I was nearly pushed down to the ground twice because I had candy. One child actually growled at the other children. All of this pushing and shoving....for a tee…

City Centre

The city I live....isn't really a city. I work in the tallest building - and it's two storeys tall... But Antananarivo (or Tana for short) is a serious city. I took a quick video this morning from my hotel room. Tana is very interesting... not as bad as I once thought. But I don't think I'd like to ever live here. (I love the background music in this little video though. :D)Wedding and drive pictures to follow soon....I`m back on the road again for home!

The Tana Wedding

I was surprised to find out that the Malagasy weddings are quite similar to Canadian, Christian weddings....

Here's the church, along with an old, restored, and decorated car for the bride and groom (just like in Canada)

What's a wedding withouth little girls in white dressing running around and playing? the pews were a little small for me...and I ended up breaking off one of the decorations (after I caused a bit of a scene and made an 18 month old cry)

The inside of the church - could have been anywhere in rural Alberta...

Unfortuately, I didn't understand a word of the ceremony, it was all spoken in Malagasy. I pretended like I understood....

The bride and groom a few moments before they seal their vows

And outside the hall, more children playing in their best dress (just like in Canada...)

Picture time! What a handsome couple. :D

Lunch was served directly after the ceremony. Not typical for Canadian weddings, but not unheard of. Now...I issues. I am... a bi…

Made it! Phew.

Made it safetly to Antananarivo. Wow. That was quite the drive. We left at 10h15 and arrived at 19h30- this included a two pee stops, about an hour for lunch in Brickerville, and a quick chocolate bar/Coca stop in Moramunga (which was interesting because I guess they hadn't heard about the six-foot tall white girl. I definetly caused a scene. )
This like no other...I will post pictures soon...The scenery is amazing, unfortunatly, I missed half of it due to Gravol-induced coma. I won't be making that drive anytime soon (OH....except of course...for Sunday... ick.)

I just finished eating supper at the REALLY nice hotel. It's SUPER clean, has zero ants, and amazing service. I am too busy to check out the spa tomorrow morning...but will SOMEHOW manage to fit it in this weekend.
And about supper...I COMPLETELY forgot its like THE number one rule in Madagascar - DO NOT ORDER FISH OR SEAFOOD FROM ANY CITY/TOWN THAT ISN'T DIRECTLY BESIDE THE OCEAN. If you check out the …

My Weekend Plans

I'm leaving Friday morning to go from Toamasina to Antananarivo (Tana for short).
I've never gone by car - and from the sounds of it, I'm up for a bit of an adventure (and what isn't in MG?).

The road is between 245.78 km to 267.15 km (152.72 miles to 166 miles). This doesn't sound like much - but because of the road conditions, it's a minimum six hour drive. (I'll be sure to stock up on gravol before hand...)

(Click on map to enlarge)

Upon my arrival, I'm staying at the Hotel Palissandre and Spa.

Ahhhhhhh......spaaaaaaaaaaaa.....I'm trying to remember where I am...and not have too many expectations....but I am soooooooooo looking forward to like...a real'm RREEEAALLLLYYY hoping it will it will be awesome. (Also hoping that this trip to Tana - is better than my the last trip there...)

I'm in for a fabulous weekend. Not only do I get to take two holiday days in the middle of my rotation, take a road trip with expats AND nationals (who …

The Thanks of an Expat

Thank you to all of the family and friends that have made the effort to keep in touch with me while I'm so far away. Even the little me so much.Thank you to the expat friends that have continued to help me in whatever way they can. I know you are all going through your own crap too. I'm not the only one who is new to living in MG and having struggles, but sometimes....I forget...Thank you to the people in Canada that answer the phone when I call. When I can't get a decent connection through, thank you for being patient and repeating each sentence three times because we can barely hear each other. Thank you for listening to my stories, thank you for "talking Canadian" to me and updating me on what's new, and a special thank you for just listening to me if I happen to call crying. Thank you to the people who read my blog and send me emails about it. I love your feedback. And yes, I must agree, my grandparents are awesome and it is super cute that…

Canal des Pangalanes - Take Three

The Canal des Pangalanes is a series of man made and natural lakes linked by rivers running down the east coast of MG for about 300 miles and is mainly used for transportation and fishing. We spent about seven hours there and back (including stops along two fishing villages and a small hotel for lunch), so I'm sure we only saw a very, very small part of the entire canal.

It's always interesting, never the same twice, and just a great way to spend a Sunday.

Most of the canal residents live in accomodation like these:

Even with what seems to be nothing - they take great care and pride of their homes.

The first village we stopped in had a school. This school teaches ONE HUNDRED AND FOURTY elementary school kids.

A few pictures of the village children:

I couldn't resist taking a picture of these lucky boys that had toy trucks to play with. I made sure to put some candy for them inside the back of their truck.

Handing out candy and apples to the kids:
Our lunch stop: