Life in a Malagasy village in Nosy Be

May 7, 2018Niry Fidelis

Life could be very challenging sometimes 

Nosy Be

Madagascar is a dream destination
and this is already well known to all but what most of the
travellers still ignore is
that half the “fun” is getting into their incredible villages.

As the country has been
populated along its history by successive waves of migrants from various
corners of the Indian Ocean, the cultural meltings has evolved into an
intricate set of beliefs and life styles. Travellers could find their customs
bizarre but for us, it was an effort well worth making. Thank God it has never
been enough for us to relax on the beach during the whole period of our
holiday and exactly this is what gave us a possibility to wonder w
hat can be beyond that space
frequented by the mass of tourists. Nosy Be, one of the most wanted holiday
destination for elite people who arrive and stay in a beachfront resorts until
the departure date,
certainly has another hidden side which was totally

Nosy Be
Yes, it was not only beaches with
breath-taking views or resorts owned by westerns but behind that, it had also a
very challenging day life with over 90% of population living with less than one
euro per day. Rates of chronic malnutrition were so high and the
population was growing faster and faster for lack of a proper birth control
system. They were facing so many problems that in my opinion couldn’t be
ignored. They had no doctors, the ones with any illness just had to
wait in the hope that the disease can pass soon. We haven’t seen elderly
people in Nosy Be, probably their average age was quite low.  Most of them
didn’t go to school and very often they didn’t know how far the next city was
or where it was geographically located. 

Nosy Be

Most of the Malagasy houses didn’t have electricity, especially in the rural areas so they could not refrigerate
their food and accordingly the daily need is a concern of every day. They walked 
miles and miles to reach the nearest market which could be 40 kilometers away.
They didn’t toilets in their communities. Their houses
had only one room which was
used for sleeping and all other activities were carried out in the not gated
compound area together with the others of the same community. 

Nosy Be
We saw then see people busy
with their routine activities or happily engaged in chatting and gossiping.
Children obviously were not missing, they were everywhere around: up on the
tree, feeding the chickens and goats or simply playing. It was like walking
through another planet. It was not so easy to communicate with them because
they hardly spoke their national language French. From how their schools were
organized, we felt that there was still a lot before education could play its

Nosy Be
I don’t even want to mention about the
secondary needs such as cars or dresses. It was really interesting to see how
day by day, these people with their wonderful smile faced the life. Nosy Be was
not just a wonderful beach where relaxing and having fun but somehow the
people and their situation helped to make us understand that they are the most
touching part of our vacation.

It has been certainly an experience that
we will never forget.

Click Here for More Photos From Nosy Be Villages

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