Antsirabe, where we spend our first month in Madagascar, was a small town 3 hours south of the capital known for its high concentration of rickshaws called “pouse-pouse,” as well as cooler weather, artisan crafts, Star Beer headquarters and 19th century thermal baths. The winding drive to this town gave us our first taste of Madagascar’s deforestation. Mountains and hills were bare, only the valleys showed remnants of the remaining life that used to cover the entire area. Though deforestation didn’t plague every hill as we realized after more exploration.
Everyday with Jamie’s girls we would go on field trips or “bear hunts,” as the girls called them. We visited hidden caves full of bats, waterfalls, brick making sites, artisan shops with handmade bull horn jewelry and tools, as well as hill tops where we’d picnic and search for rare bugs, chameleons, and orchids (proof of a healthy forest).
Ta-ta for now!
Nolan & Elizabeth