What do lemurs tell us about Madagascar?

One of my last trips showed that there are still places that are full of nature in the world. Nature in the full sense of the word, I mean. Time stopped on Nosy Be, an island in the north-east coast of Madagascar.

Life is going day by day without a hurry, obligation to work or pursuit of material goods. In most homes there is no sewage system or electricity, yet they are full of joy, selfless kindness and careless fun. People live in harmony with nature. People are always smiling, with a huge respect to foreigners, aware of their rights and restrictions. It was very interesting for me to see the real life of the island’s inhabitants when I was walking from the hotel to the beach every day. There is no stress in their lives. They don’t need to work because nature ensures their survival and it is enough for them. They spend time playing, dancing, listening to the music, but they are not forgetting about their daily duties, e.g. pasturing zebu cows or fishing. There are 2 religions: Christianity and Islam, and Buddhist philosophy.

Among my favorite phenomena is the Christmas tree which attracted my attention when I was walking into the hotel. It is the first one on my list (see the picture below).

The second one is “hen hospitality”. For example, when you are invited to somebody, like friends or family in Poland, you usually buy something like alcohol, flowers or something to eat. There, the indisputable hit is an alive rooster or hen, which is the gift which is prepared as a meal or snack during a party. It could also be good when you are drinking a rum. Madagascar’s rum is the best that I have ever drunk in my life. You can taste the vanilla, cinnamon, coffee or cacao flavour.

The third place goes to the airport in Nosy Be, in particular its size and the customer service. The staff has only 2 computers in the whole airport so most passengers’ documents are written by hand at very high humidity around 80-90% with windmills and no air-conditioning.

Vanilla cultivation and crazy lemurs are the symbols of Madagaskar. The nature is incredible. There are many species of fish and plants. Malaria is the only risk but inhabitants protect tourists against it. Houses or something that looks like homes are an amazing phenomenon. Most of them are made of cardboard or thatch, without windows or doors. Women are crazy about their hair, just like in the Dominican Republic which I will write the next article about. They can spend all day arranging their hair, sometimes making pigtails, buns or to straightening it.

As regards their culture and mentality, according to my observations, people are very engaged in doing something. Let’s take the work at the hotel, for instance. They apprieciate the job, focusing on the clients’ satisfaction and high customer service. They are calm, self-possessed and humble in their contact with others. They live in a big social community, which gurantees mutual support and help.

On the other hand, there are many young prostitutes who you can see with old men from Poland, USA or France.  It is a very cheap service and that’s why many lonely men visit this place. The second negative  issue is the fact that children help parents by selling fruits, vanilla or clothes.

Certainly, I recommend this place to everybody who would like to see the real Africa.

Officially, the Madagascar Republic is an island country located in the eastern part of the Indian Ocean, on the south-west coast of Africa. Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world and the largest in Africa.