by lynngailphotography

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.

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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.

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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 : ))

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Rickshaws are everywhere throughout Madagascar – the strong men that carry them run through the towns barefooted transporting people with little effort.