Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hiking in the highlands

So far my posts about Madagascar have been fairly grim, but in fact this is a beautiful country with much to see and enjoy. Earlier today I had a chance to go on a hike in the countryside with my colleagues Caroline and Julie, to scout possible places to take some of the Akany children camping. Here are a few pictures.

A local village and its farmland. Rice cultivation is huge here.

Rice ripening in the field. It's not very nice fresh off the stalk—dry and starchy, a bit like a raw potato without the juice.

Some local farmers threshing rice by beating the stalks against old oil drums. They asked me to take a some photos of them and the scenery, which I'll print out and bring back to them in a few days.

Another vista.

The local basketball court. We went into the village to ask permission to camp on a local hillside, since there are often fadys, or taboos, associated with particular places. In many places, people are especially hostile to people camping near old tombs or other sites associated with their ancestors.

Enjoying some of the freshly threshed rice.

A farmer and his kids sharing a Checkers moment.

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