Did you try to pronounce Tsiroanomandidy? It is not so easy right? Luckily there is a short name, Tsididy.
It took us four hours to drive from Antananarivo (Tana) to Tsididy (the red marker on the map) and we have now spent one week in our host district. Tsiroanomandidy is the regional administrative center of Bongolava, as well as the name of one out of two districts in the region. When we were in Tana, we often wore thick sweaters due to the chilly weather (and remember we are Norwegians). The tropical heat in Tsididy was therefore a nice surprise. Madagascar has only two seasons, summer and winter, and the summer season is about to begin. We enjoy the temperatures as for now, varying from 20 to 30 degrees Celsius, but we are curious on how we will comprehend with the hottest period of the summer season in November/December.
Tsididy is a rural village where “posy posy’s” (bicycle taxis) are the main means of transportation and you can find them on almost every street corner. Our impression is that Tsididy is a lively village because the village centre is always crowded with people doing different errands. So far we have discovered a giant “labyrinth” market where they sell everything from meat to clothes and Kristina’s new hat (see the picture below). Surrounding this market there are numerous stalls where you can buy seasonal fruits and vegetables. We have already found our favourite stall where they sell amazing strawberries (almost as good as the Norwegian ones). Outside of the city centre there are plenty of mango threes, and we cannot wait until the mangos find their way to the market.
Last week the National basketball championship for youth was held in Tsididy. We watched a couple of the matches during the week and on Sunday we went to see the finals with some of the youth volunteers.
Our first week has been great, and we are really excited to explore more of the district!