Regarding what became of Mr. Barrett on his return to Africa - the land of his birth - and providing certain details as to his whereabouts, the status of his health, whether physical or mental, and lastly describing various events & happenings the editor finds appropriate to reveal in promoting the honorable cause of his client.

Mr. Barrett is a Master's International Student at Michigan Technological University. His Peace Corps service in Madagascar will contribute to a degree in Environmental Engineering. The contents of this site are Mr. Barrett's alone and do not reflect the views of Michigan Tech, Peace Corps, or the United States government.

Monday, June 5

Into the Heartlands of the Antanala

Fianarantsoa: Fourteen kilometers south of Ikongo lies the village of Ambolomadinika (small bamboo). What was once a national route to Manakara and the coast is now nothing more than a muddy footpath winding its way south through the rugged hills and rice paddies of the ambanivolo (countryside). The path mianders for a while with the river Sandrananta until the crossing at Ambodilozabe, where a lakana (river boat carved from the trunk of a forest wood) waits to carry you across. The trail then continues south through orange, coffee, and cinnamon trees and there are always the rice fields, now golden and ready for harvest. Stop for a moment, and there is a view of the forest, dark and mysterious, in its quite retreat up some distant mountain slope.

I left Ambatofotsy early one morning for the three hour trip, by bike, to Ikongo. There, I met a guide who took me on to Ambolomadinika, where I would observe Jon Annis (colleague from MTU) in his work to complete a water system several months in the making. Here is a short tribute to his work there and a kinetic portrait of life surrounding work in one Malagasy village. As always, there is a lot left unsaid; you will likely fill in the gaps with your imagination, and that is completely appropriate. Note, you will also see something of the train which connects Fianarantsoa to Manakara.


Blogger Luke John Paul Barrett said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. I hope to respond to each of you individually when time permits. Best regards for now.

7:05 am  

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