The dodgy chief
We arrived in the village, a long 12 hour day, the sky was dark and we were wet. A villager had offered us a place to stay, but said we should first meet the chief for his approval. He disappeared and after a while through the darkness we could see two shapes reappearing, villager and chief in tow. After a complexed greeting process we sat down to chat, quite a laborious task with our limited French and Malagasy. All we wanted to do was sleep, but we were persuaded to go over to his hut for a cup of coffee.
A little slide down the muddy road and we were there, on entering, we nearly fell out again through a large hole in the floor, but after side stepping the obstacle and nesting chickens we were safely inside and out of the rain and cold.
Politely helped out of our coats we were seated and waited for our coffee while the chief babbled away about a long lost cousin in France and if we could help find her, on and on this went as he repeated himself time and time again, eventually we worked out he was well oiled from a bottle of moonshine he had been sucking on during the day, as he leaned closer and closer, breathing these fumes all over us.
We finally got the escape call, food was ready. Surprisingly we were suddenly hurriedly ushered out by the chief and into the rain. Confused us left and back to the original hut to eat. On arriving there Dauphine realised in the rush that we were ushered out, his jacket was not returned by the chief. We decided to get it in the morning, as it should be safe with the chief of the village.
Up at 6, we dressed, thanked our host and off down the slush to the chief. On arriving at his home he was up standing in the doorway, but not as accommodating as the previous evening. Dauphine then asked if he could go in and get his waterproof. The answer was quite surprising, “What waterproof?”, We looked at each other and knew here was a problem. He then said we were the last visitors that evening and there was nothing. We tried and tried and the more we questioned, the guiltier he looked. The big problem was that most of our cash was in the pocket of the coat. We eventually could see that it was getting to a point that we were going to come off second best, so we greeted and left.