Some french and some english - very good! This summarises our communication throughout our first week in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. French and Malagasy are the official languages in Madagascar, and we have to admit that Malagasy is not our strongest suit (yet). Even though our communication has been a mix of languages (even non-verbal), the Malagasy people have given us a warm welcome, or “tonga soa” as they say!
Our first days have been spent at the Malagasy Red Cross’ Headquarter, where we have met and engaged with the staff. Malagasy Red Cross works in all the 22 regions of the country. Their activities range from disaster relief to community based health and first aid (CBHFA) programmes and we are excited to learn more and take part in some of the activities the next nine months.
The 10th of September was the world first aid day, which was celebrated in many different Red Cross/ Red Crescent national societies all over the world. We participated at the celebration in Madagascar, held about an hour outside of the capital. It was a big event, where many people came to celebrate, learn more about the work of the Red Cross and to watch the children of Malagasy Red Cross demonstrate first aid.
We have really enjoyed our first week in Antananarivo, but next time we will blog from our new home in Tsiroanomandidy :) (if we have internet)