From february 14th until march 8th Maiya and me, Remi (the operational manager of Madalief) visited Madagascar! After being stuck in the Netherlands for fourteen months, it was like a miracle that we could get tickets and travel to our beloved country. Madagascar is placed under High Risk Countries by the Dutch government, but it was not too difficult to get tickets and the required papers in the end.
Arriving in Madagascar was like stepping into a dreamworld: Covid doesn’t really bother the people, there are almost no restrictions, since september all schools, churches, markets are open. The only thing is that you have to wear a mask everywhere, and if you don’t you’ll be forced to public work, as cleaning the sewers. Since nobody wants that, people walk around with masks under their chins, and only when police passes, the masks go up. It was very ‘alienative’ to travel around, to see so many people everywhere, being able to eat in restaurants, swim in swimmingpools, organise a teenage party for my daughter after 14 months of not seeing her friends… Everywhere there are people, the colors, the scents where so intense.. The Malagasy live as usual, with just another dangerous virus added. Living with the Pest, cholera, diftery, leprosy etc, Covid isn”t that dangerous. Especially since the Malagasy population is very young (like 23 as a average age), there are hardly any old people, and people with ‘underlying suffering’ like obesity and diabetes don’t exist much. It has always been a survival of the fittest, and in this story, living with Covid doesn’t add more fear..
The Malagasy population is one of the toughest of the world, even the famine in the south, where more then 80% of the people live from one meal of cactus leaves a day, people survive… And still the population grows so exponential…
It was as if we were walking around in a dream, and we were so happy to see everybody again. The children had grown so much, everyone was in good health. We had enough time to visit everybody and in next posts I will share more photos and stories.