Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Top 5 of Vondrozo

            Most people will never see Vondrozo in their life, which includes Malagasy people, so I have compiled a top 5 for what you must see/do in Vondrozo. 

#1: The view of Vondrozo from the hill over looking it in the south
            This is the #1 pick by every Malagasy person asked, as well as my own.  Although this view does not give a good view of the town proper, it does give a good view of the area as a whole.  From this vantage point you can see the tree filled town backed by the Corridor (mountain range) with views of things like the High School and Middle School, Protestant Church, both the public and
Catholic hospitals, and the Chef de Districts house.
 

#2: The market on Market Day
            There is a market everyday, but on Monday’s people from all over the district, and from as far as Farafangana, converge on Vondrozo to sell or buy their goods.  This causes the regular market to fill shoulder to shoulder with people and to overflow into the street. 
           


#3: The Chef de Districts house and view from his porch
            The Chief de District’s (equivalent to County Mayor) house is on the top of a hill overlooking the town.  The house itself was built towards the end of the colonial period in Madagascar.  The floor plan is still in the earlier colonial method of having a central air spillway with four rooms, two on each side.  From his house you are able to get view of all parts of Vondrozo proper. 
Chef de District's House



#4: The Lycee
            The Lycee (High School) makes the list for many reasons.  First, it gives you a view of what schools in Madagascar look like.  Schools here are very rarely only one building, but are complex of smaller buildings.  Vondrozo has electricity only from 6pm – 11pm so all light for the rooms in the Lycee of Vondrozo come from open windows or doors.  The rooms themselves have a blackboard on one wall and are filled with wooden bench desks.  Secondly, it is the place where I work. And last but not least it is the site of my house; I live in an old office on the Lycee compound. 





#5: The brousse ride into Vondrozo
            Though not technically in Vondrozo itself, the brousse ride to Vondrozo had to make this list.  This ride, 70 km in length, takes approximately 6 – 8 hours to complete on a good day.  The road is one of the worst in the country and is done in the bed of a 4x4 truck.  The description certainly does not sell the ride at all, and is why most people will never see Vondrozo, but it must had experience for anyone that wants to get a feel for the life of the people that live here.



Honorary mention: Circumcision party
            Though this could have easily made the top 5 list, it did not because it is something that can be seen anywhere in my region, the Sud Est.  Circumcisions are the biggest cultural events in this region and are means for a huge party.  The circumcision usually happens when the boy is about 10 years old and is a defining moment in his life.  The party itself last for 1 ½ days, starting usually with just the family and close friends the night before.  The circumcision happens at 5am and is followed by a huge party of dancing and drinking the rest of the day.


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