Saturday, June 14, 2014

the local surfers (and heroes) of Mahambo

I’ve parked myself in this faraway village called Mahambo for the time being.  With a few deep glances at a map I came to the realization that this is perhaps the last bit of decent road while traveling to the north and soon i’ll have to use 4x4 and even a few boat trips to get to where i’m going. 

Mahambo is excellent.  It is a tiny hidden village hugging a bay in the Indian Ocean and it hosts some of the warmest people i’ve ever met.  I’m stricken with that same looming paranoia i’ve always had about taking photos of people so part of me thinks that the memories of this village will remain in the photos in my head.  

I’m without words anyway.. I look around and think to myself that I will never be able to explain this place in a million years even with a thousand photos. 

I’ve been busy.  I met a man named Paul who works with some of the local children as a bit of a mentor.  He has spent time around the world in many other countries and returned to the capital of madagascar to become very successful as a businessman.  He inspired me and i took the innitiative to help some of the children learn english and mathematics whereas some of them have never gone to school.  I decided to stay here for a few weeks and teach in exchange for french/malagasy lessons from the children.  So far it has been really amazing and again i feel the sentiment that the best way to truly learn from a culture is to become a teacher from within and there is always so much to learn.

I’m still in the company of a friend named Alex from France.  He is really becoming a good companion and he has a true passion for surfing as well as all things of the ocean.  We actually speak to each other in Spanish and the more i think about it I haven’t really spoken English for days. 

So my plans.. I am still not entirely sure but I think i’ll be heading north along the coast and finding my way to a region called Masoala.  I’m not sure how i’m going to get there but this whole adventure so far has been a matter of finding one’s way slowly and not planning too far ahead.  Pardon my hippy thought but i do believe that travels begin when we are born and getting around on this large island is just a recent travel of a long journey i’ve been taking.  We never really know what is coming next for us and if we embrace the present moment with humility and kindness then it is absolutely amazing what could come about.

I had another sentiment a few days ago when i was traveling between mahambo and an even more remote village.  I wondered what was beyond the trees and the jungle that surrounds the area.  Most villages are build around the main road however beyond them is a great darkness.  I thought about this for a while and it actually creeped me out a bit.  To one side there is endless ocean and to the other is endless jungle.  Now i feel truly alone and this time of ‘alone-liness’ is something that i hope all people get to feel one day.  For a moment I thought the whole planet had forgotten about me.

A story :
Drank rum last night that was cut with Khat (an mild herbal sedative that was brought here long ago by the arabs).  It was quite nice and it reminded me of Guifiti which was a similar rum elixer i had found in honduras a long time ago.  At first i thought it didn’t do much but then i realized that i had lost the ability to read for about two hours.  It’s not a very interesting story but i don’t want to forget it.  I think i’m good on the khat for now although the locals cant get enough of it.

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