Monday, April 26, 2010

People of Madagascar

It has been said that Madagascar is where Asia meets Africa. Although it is just off the east coast of Africa, it is believed that people from the continent of Asia were actually the first settlers. The Malagasy people have been found through recent DNA testing to be about half Southeast Asian and about half East African descent. When you see the people, that is the best way to describe them. They don’t look quite Asian, but they don’t look full African either. It’s a beautiful combination. Since Madagascar has large Asian roots, rice is a staple here and you can see rice paddies everywhere as you drive through the countryside and even in the city.

Madagascar is a very peaceful country and even though there is a coup d'├ętat going on right now and rumors of another coup, you really wouldn’t know it from the pulse of the community. We have been surprised at how genuinely nice everyone here is. We feel very safe and go out quite often on our own. Besides a few curious stares because we are obviously foreigners, we are treated with respect and kindness on almost every occasion.

The Malagasy language is the most common language, but most people here also speak French. It is one of the few countries we have visited where English is almost of no value since most people neither speak nor understand it. This makes it fun to practice the little French we know and try to learn a little of the Malagasy language.

This was one of the beggar kids who came to church this week. I think she's absolutely adorable!
We shared some of Kasen's snacks and they seemed to love and appreciate them!
More of the beggar children after church. They loved seeing Kasen and of course getting their picture taken. We didn't have enough snacks for everyone unfortunately.
Church
I also have to include a picture from the Sunday Evening Fellowship we went to last night. Many of the local missionaries from various churches come together to sing songs, have a worship thought, and a collective prayer for each others needs. It's beautiful because even though almost everyone is from a different denomination, it's recognized that each person is doing their part to share the message here in Madagascar and this unites rather than separates everyone. We had a great time. Kasen did too as you can tell from the picture above. He loved the guitar and singing!
Cooking food in the local market.
Carrying laundry to be washed.
Socializing ;-)
A universally loved sport
Driving down the main highway.
The "taxi-bus". This is what most Malagasy people use to get around town if they don't walk. Regular American sized buses are a little too big to maneuver through the narrow winding streets of Antananarivo (Tana).
The locals fishing in the lake.
Also along the main highway. Much different from LA.
2 cute girls. Can you tell which one has the more outgoing personality?
Making new friends is so much fun! Kasen is loving his time here!

3 comments:

  1. I'm glad you are enjoying your time there! Thanks for sharing. I love all the pics!

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  2. Beautiful pictures, compelling commentary - think you should consider a career with National Geographic!!!

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  3. Really enjoying your pictures and commentary!

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