Living Vicariously As A Peripatetic Shutterbug

{ More musings from the Cantankerous Old Mule }

Back “home” after all these years

150213 IMG_6756One of the things I’ve realised about my peripatetic life is that I have many homes around the world. Just today I received a message from a family in France asking where I had disappeared to and when they might see me again.

The answer is: I just flew back to Madagascar, a place I called home for two years. And, when I’ll see them again, I don’t know, although I do miss them and friends and family around the world dearly.

I’ve flown to this red island so many times that I can anticipate when its coastline will come into view. As usual, this time I wasn’t disappointed. One of the first views was of a river spewing red water for kilometres out to sea. This island, once clothed in trees from coast to coast, has been stripped bare – little islands of greenery clinging to gullies amidst a sea of rapidly-eroding red earth. And then there are the villages, and rice paddies, hills and gorges as far as the eye can see.

The little brochure one receives on the plane describes the problem of deforestation like this: “How long ago it seems that the well-known adage was in vogue: ‘ When will the forests of the East be exhausted?’ meaning that they could be exploited without moderation. However, over the past forty years degradation of forest cover has intensified so quickly that the authorities have been alerted and are seeking a solution to limit this devastating haemorrhage whose principle perpetrator is man himself.”

Sadly, it seems as if the previous government, which came into being as a result of a coup d’êtat, was one of the chief perpetrators in recent times, motivated by lining their own pockets as quickly as possible.

Whatever the case, and whatever its challenges, this island holds a special place in my heart, and just became home again for the foreseeable future.

Here is a time-lapse of our final approach. (I hope you don’t get too air sick watching it!)

And a few photos shot with my iPhone (click for larger images.)




This entry was posted on February 14, 2015 by in Madagascar and tagged , , , , .
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