Posted on 07 July 2008
“Looking at our water bidon, which contains 50 liters of drinking water, our only good tasting and therefore precious drinking water here in Itampolo…Imagine taking a bath in drinking water in a bath tub and using at least 2 such bidons. What a waste! With every sip of water we take we think: ‘Oh gosh, almost another bottle of water gone!’ ”
“Do not kick the away the canoe which helped you cross the river.”
"It is in the morning. We (us volunteers) have a rendez-vous with a fisherman. He wants to go shark fishing with us, on a pirogue (a canoe with a sail). We are all very excited to have the privilege of experiencing shark fishing on such a small boat. The boys help push the pirogue out in the water, the sea is very calm. There is almost no wind, so “the dude” and his friend (the 2 fisherman) have to row us (4 volunteers and Gaetan, WWF worker) all the way out. Everything is so dependent on the nature; no wind, no sailing; too much wind, no fishing, no food. As the sun rises over the Mahafaly plateau, I observe the very simple but beautifully painted Vezo boat. Gaetan tells us that the Vezo people (fisherman tribe) probably origin from
Fishing sharks with 7 people on a pirogue was unrealistic at the end; we didn’t catch one lousy fish. But what we got to catch were a few sights of whales, swimming and playing their way through the Channel of Mozambique. It was a fantastic breathtaking experience!”Taxi-brousse
“Today is Thursday; the day Dom and Shirley went on their trip to the south. It is also the day of the taxi-brousse. The taxi-brousse in Itampolo is a truck that arrives once a week from Toliara overcrowded with people, chicken, petrol, goods and even pirogues. The beach, the streets, the tiny cafés are emptied in a minute when the horn of the truck is heard. Everybody meets at the market, to see who is visiting, what goods are delivered and of course to hear news of the nearby town (one day ride) of Toliara. After maybe 2 hours of sitting at the market and watching the liveliness of the event, the people rumor that the truck is about to leave. We say bye-bye and watch Dom and Shirley squeeze into the taxi-brousse. Another hour later the truck leaves…”
“Money is like a guest; it comes today and goes tomorrow.”
Celebrating the dead
"In the south of
Daniella, my partner in crime, and I are visiting Madame Sily in a tiny village. She is a very beautiful old lady, dressed in a suit that looks like a costume out of 50ties movie placed in
The Mahafaly, who come from the Mahafaly plateau are the most numerous ethnic group of Ejeda and Itampolo. The name Mahafaly means: “Those who make the taboos.” And this we had learnt very soon. There are taboos everywhere in
- Do not ever rise to speak in front of men or elders.
- Never point your finger at your or others head.
- Never point your finger at a tomb or take a photo of it.
- Well never point your finger at anything I guess, pointing with your fist though is ok.
- Do not ask where the toilet is; ask for the “douche”. People do not talk about going to the toilet.
- When you arrive in a village always look for the chief to tell him that you have arrived. He has to agree on every step you take in the village.
On the road again
“After 2 months of a really quiet, slow and patient life, without loud noise (except the music out of every hut at night) mobile phone, electricity or a vehicle except bicycle, with no rain, no trees, just the sand, cactuses and spiny bushes, it feels strange sitting in a bus at a relatively insane speed (60 km/h), hearing my mobile phone ring and thus sticking my head out of the window to quickly forget reality again: I see GREEN trees and smell the scent of pines and rain in the air!”
Our group has spent 2 months in the driest area of
[* Malagasy proverb]