Videos from this trip
Concerning Madagascar, I only knew that there are lemurs and ... that it is far away. Then one day I went to an island in the South Pacific, and met a missionary nun of Malagasy origin. Thanks to her and her family a few months later, in summer 2009, I was already heading off to this mysterious island.
I have heard that the first impression that most people have of Madagascar is the pervasive poverty. My first impression was quite different. I saw a deep presence of life. Life in all its roughness, life in its full swing despite all the difficulties. I saw mothers exposed to the scorching midday sun, selling beans and rice on the street, to have a modest dinner for her daughters. I saw fathers working in improvised workshops by roadsides to gain money for the tuition of their sons. Poverty is the state of things, but I saw budding life ... because where else the life is more present than where it has to engage the most of its power for it to be maintained?
In Madagascar, I spent a month and a half ... I experienced singular events, met singular people, and ate singular food. But above all, as in the Pacific, I am grateful that I could have been a "part of the team" and not just another "vazaha" - a white foreigner. We had a lot of fun ... night showering with buckets under a glowing full moon on the edge of the rain-forest, the barefoot journey over rice paddies to falls safely hidden in the jungle on the other side of the valley, endless hours out in taxi-brousse and even even more endless savanna around Ihosy, sunset and magical night in the Alley of Baobabs, surreal peace and tranquility in the Benedictine monastery high in the mountains Ankazobe, evening with the fishermen on the beach in Toamasina, rice for breakfast, rice for lunch, rice for dinner, rice water to drink ... and if there is anything certain, it is that this was not my last trip to Madagascar.
Malagasy is a complicated and expressive, but also an extremely beautiful language. As I gradually learned it, I created my personal Malagasy dictionary, being the first comprehensive dictionary of this language in Czech. I also made a couple of hundreds of pronunciation recordings with native speakers to complete it. I am delighted that this work is important not only for me ... since its conception it did its service to many people who have traveled to Madagascar.