You may have had the unfortunate experience of having your seaside vacation interrupted by a thunderstorm, or worse, a hurricane. Imagine if such a storm were responsible for wiping out not just your vacation, but your family’s income and food supply for the coming year. This, while unthinkable for us in the developed world, is a menacing possibility each year for families in Madagascar, an island nation of 22 million in the Indian Ocean. With 3,000 miles (4800 km) of coastline, it’s hard for Madagascar to avoid being a stop on the itinerary for cyclones sweeping through the Southern Indian Ocean. I recently spent time here with CARE documenting some of their disaster risk reduction programs. A cyclone, as a hurricane is called in the Indian and southern Pacific Oceans, can destroy acres of the rice paddies that produce Madagascar’s staple crop. But what if farmers could harvest their crop[…]Read More
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Expecting lions, lemurs, and baobab trees? In contrast, my recent assignment in Madagascar with CARE was of a human-itarian nature. Madagascar certainly does shatter everyone’s expectations, however, mostly in a good way. This fall, CARE will hold an art exhibit in Atlanta, where the organization is based, as a fundraiser for its programs across the globe. Girls in Vatomandry District, Madagascar were recently invited to participate in the art process, and as you can see in the above video, were thrilled at the opportunity to do so. As part of my assignment in this Indian Ocean island nation off the coast of Africa, I was on hand to document some of the girls’ stories and record their messages. These messages, along with their artwork, will be presented at the Atlanta exhibit. PS. There are NO lions in Madagascar, but there is LOTS of rice.Read More
It’s not really what you think of as Africa, but neither is it the Middle East. The island of Zanzibar, otherwise known as Unguja, is in part its own entity, and the center of Swahili culture in East Africa. In an area of the world where political unrest is not uncommon, it’s a wonder Zanzibar has been in union with the Tanzanian mainland for as long as it has. The Sultanate of Zanzibar, an archipelago nation off the Indian Ocean Coast of East Africa, merged with the East African nation of Tanganyika in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanzania, a hybrid name reflecting both countries. Earlier that year Zanzibar, a newly independent state itself, experienced a revolution in which over 12,000 ethnic Arabs and Indians on the island were massacred overnight. In the wake of the revolution most of Zanzibar’s wealthy and educated fled the country never to[…]Read More