home is a place.

A red­dish brown road, sur­round­ed by bush­es with pur­ple flow­ers. Below in the val­ley, the reed and rice fields slow­ly wind upwards to the hills. There in the dis­tance the lavaka’s, big ero­sion gul­lies, flame red. Near­by there are some banana trees and a row of palm trees. A lit­tle boy is herd­ing his geese. Chicks are scrab­bling on the path. Path This is the road that we take from our house to the vil­lage for shop­ping. We came here a week ago. The dri­ver of the project picked us up in Tana. After the exit from the route nationale, we took a road that turned from tar­mac via cob­ble­stones to a dirt road on which we bumped for anoth­er 3 hours. With that, we were in Ambat­on­draza­ka, the big city in this region. Since our last stay here, the whole region has dis­ap­peared from the Lone­ly Plan­et, say­ing it is no longer attrac­tive for vis­i­tors among oth­ers because of the bad access.

We were here before, and lived in the city itself. This time, the project that Fred­dy works with is in anoth­er place. Because their house for interns had space, we decid­ed to go and live here. By car, that is anoth­er half hour from town. So we are now at the coun­try­side of the countryside.

Map Mada/NL

The sur­face of Mada­gas­car is com­pa­ra­ble to that of France + The Nether­lands. Mada­gas­car has few­er inhabitants.

Our house­mates are two French stu­dents, also a cou­ple. More interns and the employ­ees of the project are liv­ing down the road. It has rained quite heavy a few times, and we expect­ed a lot more of that because the rain sea­son should start now. Fred­dy is busy writ­ing reports and has had a field vis­it. Al our com­mu­ni­ca­tion is in French here, except of course when we can use our ‘Gasy’ vocab­u­lary. Both these lan­guages need­ed some exer­cise, but we are mak­ing progress. In the time before us, we are going to enjoy coun­try life, and find out what ideas it will give us.


Solic­i­tous text on a mat­tress, appar­ent­ly from China.