Life in a Malagasy village in Nosy Be

Life could be very challenging sometimes 


Nosy Be


Madagascar is a dream destination and this is already well known to all but what most of the travellers still ignore is that half the “fun” is getting into their incredible villages.



As the country has been populated along its history by successive waves of migrants from various corners of the Indian Ocean, the cultural meltings has evolved into an intricate set of beliefs and life styles. Travellers could find their customs bizarre but for us, it was an effort well worth making. Thank God it has never been enough for us to relax on the beach during the whole period of our holiday and exactly this is what gave us a possibility to wonder what can be beyond that space frequented by the mass of tourists. Nosy Be, one of the most wanted holiday destination for elite people who arrive and stay in a beachfront resorts until the departure date, certainly has another hidden side which was totally ignored.



Nosy Be
Yes, it was not only beaches with breath-taking views or resorts owned by westerns but behind that, it had also a very challenging day life with over 90% of population living with less than one euro per day. Rates of chronic malnutrition were so high and the population was growing faster and faster for lack of a proper birth control system. They were facing so many problems that in my opinion couldn't be ignored. They had no doctors, the ones with any illness just had to wait in the hope that the disease can pass soon. We haven't seen elderly people in Nosy Be, probably their average age was quite low.  Most of them didn't go to school and very often they didn't know how far the next city was or where it was geographically located. 

Nosy Be


Most of the Malagasy houses didn't have electricity, especially in the rural areas so they could not refrigerate their food and accordingly the daily need is a concern of every day. They walked  miles and miles to reach the nearest market which could be 40 kilometers away. They didn't toilets in their communities. Their houses had only one room which was used for sleeping and all other activities were carried out in the not gated compound area together with the others of the same community. 

Nosy Be


We saw then see people busy with their routine activities or happily engaged in chatting and gossiping. Children obviously were not missing, they were everywhere around: up on the tree, feeding the chickens and goats or simply playing. It was like walking through another planet. It was not so easy to communicate with them because they hardly spoke their national language French. From how their schools were organized, we felt that there was still a lot before education could play its role. 

Nosy Be


I don't even want to mention about the secondary needs such as cars or dresses. It was really interesting to see how day by day, these people with their wonderful smile faced the life. Nosy Be was not just a wonderful beach where relaxing and having fun but somehow the people and their situation helped to make us understand that they are the most touching part of our vacation.

It has been certainly an experience that we will never forget.

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