Author Topic: Hello from Madagascar - Errr...Ethiopia...Canada...56k, no f'in way  (Read 14727 times)

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Offline mudferret

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I'll bet this is the first post ever from Madagascar.  I'm in a part of the country where the transportation of choice are feet, or a wooden cart pulled by zebu (cattle).  Have never seen a Subaru here (in the 6+ months I've spent here over the past year).  Will be sure to take a pic if I do, but there's a good chance there's not a single one in the country.  In the meantime I'll be dreaming about my lonely car back in Calgary and obsessing over my next mods.  Only 3 more months to go.

I've got a plethora of pics from past and present visits to sort through, only a handful online.  Here's me with my weapon of choice:


A local; polio is still a common sight in Madagascar:

Offline Claw

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Re: Hello from Madagascar
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2010, 11:54:45 PM »
What brought you to Madagascar?  Take some pictures please!

Maybe you can fly back via Penguin-Air!
They're going to park their car over there. You're going to park your car over here. Get it?

Offline mudferret

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Re: Hello from Madagascar
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2010, 12:01:14 AM »
I'm a geologist and we're working a project for a client.  Interesting country, it's straight out of National Geographic where we are, mud huts, isolated, primitive, etc...  White people are a novelty and many hadn't seen a whitey until a couple of years ago.

Offline Wronks

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Re: Hello from Madagascar
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2010, 01:21:00 AM »
I'm a geologist and we're working a project for a client.  Interesting country, it's straight out of National Geographic where we are, mud huts, isolated, primitive, etc...  White people are a novelty and many hadn't seen a whitey until a couple of years ago.

Be sure to take a picture of those WHITEY'S...

:)
Wronks - Have fun out there.

Offline mudferret

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Re: Hello from Madagascar
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2010, 10:25:38 PM »
Our charter plane overshot our 1000m runway the other day so we've got investigators, police etc... staying with us right now.

We used to have a nice villa in the capital Antananarivo (Tana); ex presidential residence.  Was basically our staging area in the capital.  Project site is 1000km (3 day drive) to the south.  The capital is 3rd World with pockets of wealth.  Project site is 3rd World at best.


Random shot from the streets of Tana


Airport in Tana


The drive into camp from Tuliar (250km=8 hour drive)


The view from our camp


Local kids




Crazy storm we had last fall


Africa good (ie leaks gallons of fluid/day) excavator


This is how we used to have water hauled to our camp water tank, we had a ~9cm hole drilled when the drillers were mobilizing in camp last fall. 


Car insurance salesman

Offline trevoroni

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Re: Hello from Madagascar
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2010, 10:28:04 PM »
Great pictures!
I just watched the episode of Departures where they were in Madagascar! Looked like another great place to put on the bucket list.

Offline 4stAir

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Re: Hello from Madagascar
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2010, 10:31:46 PM »
Very cool man. Looks like quite the experiance.
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Offline rith

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Re: Hello from Madagascar
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2010, 11:23:40 PM »
IT's got nothing on Edmonton, we have west edmonton mall..







^^sarcasm



Looks like fun man

Offline mudferret

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Re: Hello from Madagascar
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2010, 02:53:51 AM »
In local news, the mayor of the village has some type of new skin condition on his face.  He believes that he's been ensorceled, so any/all communications with him are done through representatives until he can find the right witch to remove the curse.

Lemur; dude wants to sell it for 20,000 Ariary (~9 CDN)


Market day, get a lot of strange looks and usually have at least 100 people following me and trying to touch me


Lots of awesome sunsets, much to apathetic now to walk 10 feet to get my camera


Dorms on left, kitchen/office building on right.  Not pictured washroom/shower building, storage building, and gensets

Offline BIGNERD

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Re: Hello from Madagascar
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2010, 03:21:25 PM »
Must make you feel like a movie star no?  Buy the lemur, I will give you 10 cdn$ for it when you get back!!!
I just hit V-TEC YO!! That's why my plate says ITLL GO!!


Offline mudferret

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Re: Hello from Madagascar
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2010, 10:54:55 PM »

Offline Perfect Dark

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Re: Hello from Madagascar
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2010, 11:42:15 PM »
I am shocked he is wearing a mask lol...what an adventure that must be!

Offline mudferret

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Re: Hello from Madagascar
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2010, 12:32:27 AM »
I am shocked he is wearing a mask lol...what an adventure that must be!

We made him wear that most of the time you're lucky if they wear sunglasses!

Offline bionicbadger

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Re: Hello from Madagascar
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2010, 09:53:45 AM »
I am shocked he is wearing a mask lol...what an adventure that must be!
mask on, but barefeet and its hard to tell if he has gloves or not. 

Offline STI 2NV

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Re: Hello from Madagascar
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2010, 04:54:07 PM »
Can't wait to see more pictures.
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Offline mudferret

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Re: Hello from Madagascar
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2010, 07:16:38 AM »
I really wish I could take a pic, almost snapped one undercover style but I almost got busted.  I'm used to seeing soldiers with AK-47's, we even have two stationed at our camp to act as those plastic owls you put up in your tomato patch, BUT there's about a dozen standing beside my office right now, waiting for something, or somebody.  I'm trying not to make eye contact since I don't speak French or Malagasy, and they don't speak English.  Haven't seen this many troops gathered in one spot since the military coup last year.

Offline Perfect Dark

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Re: Hello from Madagascar
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2010, 08:16:38 AM »
I really wish I could take a pic, almost snapped one undercover style but I almost got busted.  I'm used to seeing soldiers with AK-47's, we even have two stationed at our camp to act as those plastic owls you put up in your tomato patch, BUT there's about a dozen standing beside my office right now, waiting for something, or somebody.  I'm trying not to make eye contact since I don't speak French or Malagasy, and they don't speak English.  Haven't seen this many troops gathered in one spot since the military coup last year.

Um, keep in touch and let us know how things work out :O

Offline Flex

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Re: Hello from Madagascar
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2010, 10:02:14 AM »
The company I work for has a project over there. They are trying hard to recriut some of us to sign a 2 yr contract to go over there and work. Be an adventure but no thank you.

Offline mudferret

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Re: Hello from Madagascar
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2010, 10:50:33 PM »
Phew...it's all good.  They wanted to "borrow" some fuel from us and decided to show up in force so we couldn't say no.  100 litres later and every one is happy.  The government is broke so I'm sure these soldiers haven't been paid in at least a year.

Offline mudferret

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Re: Hello from Madagascar
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2010, 01:00:24 AM »
People dump their garbage off on the streets, not sure where it goes from there.  Temper this 3rd World scene with the wealthy people who live in European styled villas with a staff of servants.


Living large last spring.  10,000,000 Ariary (about 7k CDN) at the time.  This was the amount I traveled with so we didn't have one person holding all the cash.  Originally we were going to drive from Tana to camp, but the country was in chaos and there were bandits posing as troops and setting up road blocks south of Tana so we flew instead.  Every village/town along the road has a road block. 


Couple of shots from Tuliar.  I was literally mobbed by beautiful women in Tuliar, then again everyone is since it's a orewhay port.  Very common to see ugly, obese, old Frenchmen with beautiful underage trophies.  Excellent location for people who can't get laid in the First World.




Hotel under construction across from our hotel, sat like that for a while after the coup since tourism took a nose dive.  Rickshaws all over the place.  They always take short cuts through dark alleys so I always have my knife handy.  That said Madagascar is by far the safest African country by far.

How many people and guns does it take to do an XRF soils survey?  A uckfaying lot.

Offline mudferret

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Re: Hello from Madagascar
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2010, 02:37:05 AM »
The land our camp is built on has an old rice processing building on it the kids come and tumble in the old rice husk dump.


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Re: Hello from Madagascar
« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2010, 09:48:50 AM »
WOW.. mad hops yo. Screw working, get that kid to teach you how to backflip in the rice, it wont hurt!

This is very interesting and unique.

You get a  O0

Offline mudferret

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Re: Hello from Madagascar
« Reply #22 on: May 29, 2010, 03:19:36 AM »
A gold strike nearby, a shanty town sprung up over night and there were about 2000 people working the area, 100 m x 100 m.  Mostly alluvial but they did dig shafts to chase veins, some 25 m deep.  I'm amazed all the kids running around haven't fallen in.  It's the dry season but the place is still a muddy hole, there's a perimeter of human excrement around the area; never shake a person's left hand...  I'm sure it's a breeding ground for disease after 4 solid days of rain, thanks to a cyclone.







White dude spotted, oh that's Dave.  Local restaurant caught fire a couple of weeks ago.  We called in a water truck from one of our drills to help put it out.



Crappy sunset.



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Offline mudferret

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Re: Hello from Madagascar
« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2010, 12:02:07 AM »
Lots of preying mantis's.....err....manti


Lots of big spiders depending on the time of year.  I was taking the blade off of our concrete saw and felt something fuzzy against my hand.  It was a big, mean looking spider.  I've also found them in bed with me, and in my shoes.  They're fast. 


Our kitchen helper's son.  Masava, we call him little Mike Tyson.


Beautiful resort between Tuliar and Tana. 

Offline mudferret

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Re: Hello from Madagascar
« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2010, 01:58:35 AM »
No time to take photos anymore, or even charge my camera.  Between subbing in as "project manager" for a week or two, building 3D models (learning GoCad), building the various databases, zapping the core with our x-ray gun, and managing the veritable plethora of data generated daily, I barely have time to take a isspay.

Recent summary of events of note:
-the former gf of one of the military guys we had with us last year got in a fight late one night, bit another chick's ear off
-one of our general labourers and his brother attacked someone with an axe, he was out of jail 4 days later, bribes, or "gifts" work wonders apparently
-On my way back to camp from a local restaurant last night a pack of feral dogs started swarming me, spent about 100 m of the walk spinning around and trying to keep them at bey with kicks and lunges.  Thankfully the alcohol numbed any fear I would've had 
-Going home in 6 days!