Tension is still there
The current situation looks quieter…at first sight.
Street vendors keep protesting. Journalists are still trying to stop the ‘Code de la communication’.
A French volunteer’s couple murder made the breaking news this week. They were killed on the North-East side of the country, in Sainte-Marie Island. Foreigners’ murders and kidnapping are making the headlines but Malagasy people are also crime victims. But it is pretty much the same in French and even Australian news. Crimes, crimes and crimes…
We got a guitar with our flatmates. A beautiful Valencia (Spanish) with a really good sound for its cheap price. It is our ‘co-guitar’. We were craving for a guitar, Noémie and I. Things were made quite quickly and for good as these little musical moments are very relaxing. We are sharing in these moments.
Noémie is playing different kind of French and Spanish (or South American) songs. She is doing them her way and it is beautiful!
Meeting or discussions eulogy
My experiences of shared accommodation always had been very pleasant. I shared a house in Belgium and another one in Adelaide for a month and it always had been a pleasure to share a place but moreover time with others.
This time, the sharing is more than just real estate matters. We are sharing affinities but more than anything, values. I’m feeling like in family. I have the great chance to have rich and enriching discussions about living together and positive management.
I realised that during my trips, different experiences and exercises for the ‘Coopération régionale’’s training, I put discussion on the centre of my interests. A great discussion is equivalent to a shopping session for me (as some place shopping as the most orgasmic activity). It is reviving, participating to your evolution and creating a spatiotemporal fault. It is a precious moment.
I’m reminding with pleasure all people from different horizon I have met until now: an Australian in Paris, a Belgian and an Indian in Reunion Island, French people in France, Reunionnese in Reunion Island, Australian in Australia and French in Australia and so many other people from different origin in different countries. I was very lucky to meet these great people.
I was already very excited about being part of a radio program at the University of Antananarivo but the last meeting with the Board of the Centre de Presse Malagasy could show me even more opportunities.
We mentioned the project of building a bridge between the University of Antananarivo and the University of La Réunion. It is a big project but so challenging! I’m so excited!
BAOBad, badminton with social dimension
We tried badminton with BAOBad club. It was really great! The team is very nice and the session was fantastic.
Johary, president of the club, is a very joyful and pleasant person. The club has a strong social dimension. The president explained that our monthly fees as foreigner were covering costs for gear for Malagasy children who could not afford to do sport. Moreover, members of the club are bringing back home these kids after the session. It is quite family orientated. The club is also involved in social and humanitarian projects.
So we tried the swimming pool with Noémie. Until the very end, we were brave. The weather was good this day and we hoped so much that the sunlight would have warmed up the water.
This 50 meters swimming pool, we were talking so much about it, dreaming so much about it.
We went into the water which was icy cold. Still brave, we did few lengths. Noémie more than me as my ears were really aching after the third or fourth length. I feared to get otitis or a nasty cold. Noémie finally gave up when she could not feel her limbs anymore.
Going out of this bath where we could have met ice cubes and penguins, we were dizzy.
But we did it.
Humanitarian work in Madagascar: fall and rise
Madagascar is, unfortunately, land of humanitarian work. Like in Africa (and part of Africa too), all international humanitarian brands are in here and everyone is trying to get the best media exposure for this or this other one action. All donation, all action must be shown. So we can guess origin of donation (sometimes diverted and sold) on clothes worn in the street: France, America, Australia, and Switzerland…
Humanitarian underwear are not very pretty: misappropriation and others. I would talk much about it.
But in discussing with my colleague Keshia and other Malagasy people, I realise the benefit of social programs (I prefer social rather than humanitarian). Madagascar, like Mauritius and others, is independent and should not suffer from new forms of colonisation or domination. Unfortunately, the country has not a strong economy like Mauritius but in my humble opinion, it should resist to humanitarian siren calls. There are many Malagasy people who want to invest themselves in their country, in their education, in their autonomy and these initiatives, these volunteers and these humble workers must be supported. Of course, money is helping but Malagasy people need other forms of support.
In my opinion, in Madagascar, empowerment, a notion discovered in Australia during my studies, should be applied. From what I’ve heard, self-confidence is not common amongst Malagasy people and I see postcolonial schemes drawing back again and again…
We went to the Alliance française and I took Johary Ravaloson’s ‘Géotropiques’ and Alain Mabanckou’s ‘Mémoires d’un porc-épic’.
I chose ‘Géotropiques’ because I read a Johary Ravaloson’s short story in ‘Chroniques de Madagascar’. It is a bit weird as I took this book without reading the résumé and it is about Reunion Island, surfers in Reunion Island and shark attacks. And this weekend, a shark attack happened in Reunion Island.
But this book is about many interesting things that I won’t reveal here and will let you savour. It is confirming my idea that Indian Ocean’s islands echo and are echoes, answer back to each other and I said before, we are all cousins in this ocean. We can be very different but movements, stories and History is bonding us.
This visit to the Alliance française was, I must admit, a real breath of fresh air. Everyday life is not easy. Bordering on tough situations every day, distress, misery, is not easy. We have a privileged status but feelings of helplessness, frustration and injustice corrode.
The vision of street children drinking water from the gutter in the morning on the way to work stay. The unbearable cannot be the routine. I’m trying to convert it into fuel to achieve.
My partner will join us downtown at the end of September. It is difficult to be apart when we decided to go together into the adventure. He will take the taxi-be in the morning and lucky him because few people are going to Itaosy in the morning and coming back in town at the end of the day.