Back from the bush

Right, expect a brief and badly typed email with lots of typos and uncorrected spelling errors. Blame the french keyboard and wobbly monitor screen.

Madagascar is going well for the both of us and the group is now gelling well and we’ve just come back from our first trip to the bush just up the coast in Hovatra. We had a range of jobs to do while we were there, the first of which was building vegetable gardens for some villagers so that they have better nutrition in their diets and also giving them the opportunity to sell the produce. We spent many hours bashing clay into powder and then using that powder to make cement from which we made improved cooking stoves for some villagers which are 6 times more efficient than their present stoves which means that they have to chop down less indiginous forest. My highlight from the stove building was entertaining about 30 assembled villagers while the stove was being constructed with lots of singing and dancing – they loved watching these strange foreigers dance and found it hilarious. although that could have been my dancing! We’ve both taught a couple of English lessons at the local school and also painted the new school building that was built by the last group of pioneers. Viv also dug herself into a hole, quite literally, by digging a latrine that was as deep as she is tall. Fortunately she made it out before it was put into active service! Our time in Hovatra was rounded off with a bit of health education where we did a play about washing your hands after you’ve had a poo after which I became a local celebrity with many children greeting me by my character name, Rokoto, when they saw me around the village. It was a really awesome place to start off as we felt so warmly welcomed by the villagersm particularly the children and the projects we did had a very clear benefit.

In other news we’ve eaten a lot of beans and rice, drank some moonshine with the local village chief, voluntarily woken up at 5.30am every day and had maggots removed from feet (me).

If anyone wants to call us the number to use is 00261 324 356336 and best times for calling us are from 4pm your time till about 7ish. (from 3 till 6 when the clocks go back). You can even write to us as letter will be delivered to us in the bush – see the a couple of posts ago for the address. You have until next Tuesday night to contact us as that’s when we’ll be back in the bush until the 19th November.

Don’t forget also that Rightee is selling charity christmas cards and limited edition photographic prints on our behalf – get your orders in quick! All the details can be found here.

Apologies for everyone I’ve intended to, but haven’t, emailed. We’re getting very little internet time at the moment and there just isn’t the time. I’ll be hopefully seeing you all face to face come Christmas anyway so can have a proper catch up then.








3 responses to “Back from the bush”

  1. Rach avatar

    Darn. I was gonna ring you but I doubt I’ll have the internet back by Tuesday and ringing Madagascar without Skype is probably a little beyond my budget!

    Glad you are both enjoying yourselves… I expect a few photos of Viv stuck in a hole. See you at Christmas.

  2. Sev avatar

    There is one but not in its full depth: By the time i’d finished it way just blowing straight back into his face,

    btw, i too am a star. I was an evil talking germ that infected John’s character when he failed to wash his hands after having a poo. I had a green cape and eye goggles and also sported a permant dog teeth pose. The other germs and I enjoyed rushing at the kids and making them scream. None of them will be going to the loo without washing their hands now.

    Don’t worry, the kids we’re really really scared. We did look extremely silly after all!

  3. Rach avatar

    I see a traumatised generation of Madagascan children.
    “Can’t sleep, the germs’ll get me.”
    “Can’t sleep, the germs’ll get me.”
    “Can’t sleep, the germs’ll get me.”