I have recently returned from the unique island of Madagascar after having been lucky enough to travel as a guest with tour company Travel Directors (check them out!). After busing around the county side for just over two weeks I am still ploughing my way through the many varied images I look along the way. With Madagascar having 18 culturally diverse tribes and some of the worlds rarest wildlife I was often in awe of my surroundings. It is one of those countries that gets under your skin and makes you want to dig a little deeper as each culture has their own completely set of often quite bizarre customs. I would like to return one day and spend time soaking up a lifestyle that is both foreign and fascinating to mine. Here are some images I am beginning to process.
Madagascar doesn’t see many tourists so we are quite an odd sight when we stop along the road (especially for a bush toilet stop!) – children appear from what seems like quite far away within a few minutes – even the poorest of villagers are covered in large grins when they come and visit with us.
Women/girls start having babies from as young as thirteen and many will have as many as 8-12 per family. Many villages have no medical treatment and many children die at birth through lack of care and no family planning education. Local plants/herbs are used for medicinal uses – western medicine is unheard of in many areas.
The zebu (cow) is considered an item of wealth in Madagascar, the more zebus a person owns the wealthier they are. More zebus, more wives! (more problems : ))
Rickshaws are everywhere throughout Madagascar – the strong men that carry them run through the towns barefooted transporting people with little effort.