Monday, October 25, 2010

Back from the Indian Ocean and Madagaskar

Hey everybody!

When I had to bike down to university some days ago, I had to wear gloves, a beanie, a winterjacket...Coming back home into my little cosy flat there were 5 cm of snow in my garden...
Well, I guess it is time to write a little summary of my travels this summer, which seem to be soo far away already- although it is only five weeks ago that I came back.

To sum it up, it was one of my best summers!! I had an unreal time! Great people, GREAT friends, soooo much laughter, nice sessions on the water and exciting new experiences.

I spent a month in Mauritius from where I continued for another 5 weeks to Madagaskar. My first trip to that forgotten jewel in the Indian Ocean!
Madagaskar- one of the richest countries I´ve ever visited regarding the diversity of the landscapes, the richness of its mineral and natural resources, its sealife, the surfing spots and the cordiality of its population.

Our Crew: Heidi, Tom, Stefan and me

Pic St. Louis in Fort Dauphin

All that making it hard to believe that it is one of the poorest countries in the world! -And I mean really poor! In the south children go to sleep in the evening without having eaten more than cactus-fruits during the day, if Daddy didnt catch any fish.

They don´t have a pullover to wear if a cold-front from the southwest (with big swell) is hitting the coastline, and they only get shelter under their night blanket which they wrap around their body. To be honest - as touched as I was in the beginning, as fast I got used to that picture. Quite shocking!!
Well, it is true for us it looks like people are not that unhappy. They smile- a lot more often then you see people smile in our countries.
But maybe having that point of view is also an excuse for me, because I cannot change their situation.
Because to be honest-it is really Fu...up if you go to bed hungry in the evening- and not because you wanna loose weight!!! - Here in the western world people are suffering from metabolic syndrom and diabetes...and our health systems spends millions for the consequences. This thought just blows my mind!!!
Sometimes it made me feel quite bad to travel in such a poor country just for the search of new waves...I couldn´t help questioning our whole system, the system of this world, the global economy, the corruption in those countries,....well I know too little to have even an idea for a solution.
But maybe in the future I have the possibility to help a little if I am gonna work for an NGO as a doctor...who knows where life will guide me..

The government sells the right of using their country to foreign mining companies far too cheap (corruption!!)
and all they give back to the country is corruption, criminality, drugs, prostitution, syphilis and HIV..
In the long terms education is the only way they have a chance. The analphabetism- rate is over 30%!!
Madagaskar has no government since two years. The Departments of Foreign Affairs of many countries have issued travel warnings since that time. So even the income from tourism totally minimized. In 5 weeks the only white people we met, was one Italian couple, five people from Reunion, and another five from Southafrica. Well great for us- and the amount of waves we cought- but a drama for the population.

Uli surfing in Lavanono

The locals built supercute lovely wooden huts near the surfspots - all empty now!
But people have a totally different religion than we do, also depending on their tribe and their ethnic group (18 different ones!). They don´t value life as much as we do. In their relgion, (animism, natural religion) life after death is the one that counts!
Our way of " securitiy- thinking" is absolutely not understandable for them. They live for the moment. Somehting great to learn!!

Well, I could go on to philosophize now...
But I guess you are more interested in a Surf report.
In the near future we are going to publish travel stories in different magazines,- so be a bit patient.
You will read there everything about all the spots we visited in the South- and Westcoast of Madagaskar:
The millions of spots in Fort Dauphin, the loneliness in Lavanono, Itampolo, our boattrips in Anakao, the outside reefs in Tulear....

Stay tuned!!
And all of you- Have a nice winter!!!!


The girls with their guide Tsilavo ;-)))