Worst Measles Outbreak in Madagascar’s History and a Plague
I was a bit freaked out to find out about the massive outbreak of measles and the plague on the news yesterday. I emailed the hotel and asked about the situation. I hear it’s the worst measles outbreak in their history. I immediately ask my parents if I ever got the vaccine. I hope I’ll be alright.
I arrive with the fear of a plague and the measles outbreak. But, I’m still here.
The hotel tells me their government is exaggerating the plague outbreak for political reasons to get funding from the World Bank, but in reality, there’s nothing to worry about. I hope what they say is true, as my friend who visited, tells me it’s very unhygienic in Madagascar. I really need to prepare a mask and take some vitamin C.
My first impression of Madagascar is that it’s very dirty, but it is also beautiful. The lakes mirror the sky as they reflect the clouds on the water. There are a lot of mountains, and the country is very rural. Along the way, there are a lot of commercial ads with the African faces on buildings. It’s so messy on the road, with very bad traffic. It’s only 20 km from the airport to the city, but it takes an hour to get there.
Malagasy Duck and the Spiciest Chili Sauce
Dinner. I have Malagasy duck legs. It is said to be a very rare diving duck. If they are so rare, I wonder why people still eat them? Anyway, it is very tasty. It’s got the French influence (everyone here speaks French with the French accents). Great food.
I have the spiciest chili sauce I’ve ever had in my life. It looks creamy and is a light green color, but so spicy. I didn’t expect that.
I check in at the Tamboho Suites.
My room offers a breathtaking view of Tana. Houses are stacked up on the hills, like in Cinque Terre in Italy.
An Impoverished Town and the NGO: “Working Together for the Development of Madagascar”
Today is my third day in Madagascar. I decide to visit an impoverished village. I organize my trip to Alasora, a very poor village, with an NGO called “Working Together for the Development of Madagascar”.
My driver tells me he makes less than 15 trips to this village per year. He says I’m a very special client and seems excited to take me to Alasora. My visit provides funds to the poor village which will help the people there.
It takes us about 40 minutes to drive to Alasora. 220 people live there in total, and they all cram into a dozen houses. A lady host from the Mirena tribe shows me the chicken and ducks that they raise, they also have two pigs and a few cows, one of which is sick. The cows step on grains on the floor to process their rice.
For more details of my journal, please refer to my second book in “My Book” section.