Kate’s Madagascar Journal – Message from Madagascar

Madgascar 2011 362 This could be the best Friday of my life – second only to my rehearsal dinner (catch that Dave?) Two weeks of working with entrepreneurs in Kenya, then 9 days in my dream land of Madagascar. The only trip I have sought and planned for for decades, saved for for two years and now I am here.

As a single traveler, I reluctantly booked a driver for the week but worried that it would be some “Driving Miss Daisy” tour, kind of staid and stodgy and all too contained. I am more of an independent traveler but did not think wandering about a country that has seen diminishing tourists due to past political unrest and my lack of fluent Malagasy or French, would be wise. So I connected with Thecla at Atlas Travel International – my fellow Lemur nut – and Cortez Travel and we outlined a great trip to see the highlights of Southern Madagascar.

Upon arriving in Tulear, I was greeted by my most excellent driver and guide Ramiandrisoa Parson. Far from a “Miss Daisy” tour – it was a personal introduction to the country that was beyond compare. Parson was my guide, my translator, my negotiator, my protective brother. He knew what oranges were in season and what to pass up. He seemed to know everyone on the island and we would stop at villages and markets and roadside stands. He had traveled with a real photographer in one 3 month tour in particular, and he pointed out the best vistas and spotted some great human interest shots. It is a beautiful country and the Malagasy are wonderful. I could not recommend the trip more and have come back reoriented, rejuvenated and thankful for many blessings I have in my life.

Madgascar 2011 238

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