Thursday, September 26, 2013

Exciting times in Madagascar...

You can feel it in the air... you can hear it in the can see it on the posters!

It looks, feels and tastes like it is REALLY going to happen this time. Elections WILL be held on October 25 of the year 2013.

The official electoral campaign opened this week. No less than 33 candidates are running for president. After 4,5 years of paralysis, countless false promises, and a dozen of electoral postponements, Madagascar's population will have a chance to vote in one of the 20,000 polling stations that are being set up with EU and UN assistance.

Only the most cynical among the cynics are still saying: ' won't happen'. I am not one of them.

The 33 candidates of the 2013 elections in Madagascar....
After a first round of elections in October, only two candidates will remain. The second round will then be in December.

I wish all candidates the best. Or, as the Express Newspaper put it:  'Que le moins mauvais gagne' (not my words), literally translated as: may the least bad win. :-)  

p.s. more episodes of "Exciting Times in Madagascar" Season 1, will follow soon.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Licky, Sticky, Dicky and Ricky

Cats ('saka' in Malgache) are not very common in Madagascar. Some say people eat them. Not sure. Our first cat Titi did actually disappear after a few months. I sure hope he did not end in somebody's soup pan.

Tricky teenage mother
Our second cat Tricky got pregnant during our stay in Europe. Not knowing when exactly she had been with her boyfriend, I was wondering how she would announce her due date. Well, it was clear, on D-day, she meawed weirdly, walked around in strange paths, and left drops on the hallway floor. She looked at my with big eyes, frightened, saying: HELP ME!

Teenage mother
I, feeling the same, looked in turn at the Internet: HELP ME! And it did, I found a lot of information. I learned that a birthing cat is called a Queen, and that I should get a nesting place ready. I prepared three places, then left the house for a BBQ lunch. Two hours later, we heard meeeep-meeeep-peep and found four gorgeous little bundles of grey fur in a basket. All neat, and clean. Well done Tricky! I'm still wondering how this teenage mother (9 months) knew exactly what to do.... without internet :-)

Out of the box
This week, Tricky moved her babies from the basket to another place, just like many cat-websites mentioned she would. How did she know, I wondered again. The by now four-week old kittens have started to come out of the (removal) box. Curious little creatures they are. With their wobbly legs, pointy tails and proportionally large heads they are simply a-do-ra-ble (say it in French, it sounds even better). I now understand the expression "Curiosity Killed the Cat". I just pray this does not mean: ending up a someone's stomach!

Licky, Sticky, Dicky and Ricky thinking out of the box

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Tough Egg

Yooo all! I am back on the blog!

After three lovely long holiday months, we came back in time for Soleine's fresh start of Grade 4 of the American School of Antananarivo (ASA).

In a way my blog's silence nicely represents the country's silence. Nothing has happened during our absence. When I left, the Malagasy soap series called Presidential Elections had entered its fourth season. The first three seasons had gone by with elections being postponed three times.  They were then planned for July 26, but...postponed again to August. In August they were pushed back to October and December, and... well, let me stop here. 

These elections seem to be a very tough egg to crack.

Just like the one I found this morning by our chickens Tola and Chicky. Take a look at this !It goes to show: you can expect anything to happen in Madagascar!
Has anyone ever seen a sculpted egg like this? It's real!

p.s. Hugo, are you still reading my blog. SOS: have you ever seen this?