At the end of end of the road there was a coffee shop, fitting no more than maybe seven people but with open doors where chickens enter as freely as people and smiles are constantly on the faces of those who work as well as those who sell the coffee and food. The livelihood of a place like Madagascar and other African countries is something that is often spoken about, but to take one’s word for it and to experience it yourself is something that cannot be compared. I chose the African based Dragons course because I wanted to create my own opinions about the continent and through a series of decisions ended up in Madagascar.
From my short time in Madagascar I have seen extreme pollution in clouds that seem to just exist as an ominous force that is disregarded from the people. In areas along the road there is litter that seems just as common alongside the grass. Being in a country stricken by poverty there is no trace on the faces of the people that they feel even an ounce of pity for their situations. Living in a Western world where hearing complaints seems just as common as drinking coffee in the morning and then coming to a country where it seems that self-pity is unheard of is the answer of why I came Madagascar.
Hiking to the top of mountain in the town of Ampefy through bushes and tall grasses the trail was ambiguous in places and non-existent in others. Becoming slightly lost on the decline there is no language barrier when it comes to helping people. Assisted down the trail by following a series of points and whistles and then being guided back to the trail personally by an elderly farmer all while saying ‘aza fady’ ,or sorry and excuse me in Malagasy, and yet not one person revealed being even slightly bothered that we ended up looking confused standing on the edge of their freshly plowed field. Reaching the field and being greeted by children saying hello and selling arts or food and having everyone open for any friendly interaction is what has me enthusiastically anticipating the rest of our time in Madagascar.