Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Vacation, Part 3: Living the Dream in Ifaty/Mangily & Tulear
The final bit of our vacation was spent on the beach. After 6 days of pretty intense hiking, we figured we should let ourselves relax a bit. We completely lucked out as some of the other travelers we met--Fabrice & Serge, 2 French brothers--had hired a driver & 4x4 and had 2 extra seats in their car. Rather than braving the always unpredictable taxi-brousse, we hitched a ride since we were all headed to the same destination: the beaches at Ifaty & Mangily, about 25km north of Tulear. (Thanks again, guys! You really saved us a miserable day of traveling!) We met a lot of other interesting travelers on this trip, and it was one of the first times in Madagascar that I did much socializing with other "vazaha" that weren't PCV's. Most of the time I've been in remote villages where vazaha tourists don't frequent, but even when I'm in town I'm usually so focused on getting work done/using internet/watching movies while I have electricity, or even just catching up with PCV friends, and I don't make much time to socialize. Part of why I like traveling is meeting people from all over the world--not just the locals of wherever I am. I realized I've really done a terrible job of keeping up my French language skills here in my attempt to learn Malagasy. I can still understand almost all of what is spoken to me, but I have a very hard time speaking French out loud myself; Malagasy comes so much more easily and I keep mixing up vocab and expressions. I should try to practice it more here, since it is widely spoken.