Yes I know
We so often shoot through an area, big 4×4, camera in hand bouncing from a pristine tourist spot to a fancy hotel, taking fleeting glances and pictures of life that unfolds around us. This is punctuated with odd glimpse at the poverty that seems to be a growing norm wherever one travels, and on we go through a country. Occasionally we engage with the odd village, but only to stop and quickly buy something, just managing to brush off a beggar and have glimpse at the demise of the buildings and see what destruction is going on around, the damage to the natural resources, the litter and open sewers. With a leap we are back into our cocoon of a car and off we spin through the dust and into the sunset. Guess what, we are now well informed and opinionated travellers who suddenly know what it is like to live there and have all the answers to their problems.
There is that old Sioux Indian saying, “You can never judge a man until you have spent two weeks walking in his shoes”.
Yes I arrived in Madagascar, had opinions through what I had read and believe it or not had some solutions as well. It’s been over a month now and I have been living the local life, in villages, sharing a room with 5 other people, sharing a bowl of rice and Manioc with the same five. On I have moved seeing the destruction of natural resources and deforestation around me. The is an alarming collapse of the infrastructure in the south as well as the slow crumbling of many a building in every single town that I have been in. There are massive problems and they are going to escalate. All looks well from a distance but there is a very scary picture if you zoom in.
Do I have any answers or solutions? I have none, and not sure what would be the best solution, but thinking about what I have seen, I feel that the only way that the slide can be halted is through two main drives, education and infrastructure. This may be the only way to ensure that the rural population are not forced destroy what is left in order just to survive, and maintain what they have left.