We are slowly making our way down the west coast of Madagascar, we are 75 miles south of Hell-Ville. We are in no hurry, at the moment we are traveling with 4 other boats. It is nice to have the company, we will travel to South Africa with the same boat that we crossed from Reunion with, Mojombo. Their crew is Australian and consist of a family with a boy who is 12 and a girl who is 10, we first met them in Fiji and went on a day trip over the mountain from Suva Suva with them. We also went on an overland trip in Sri Lanka with them.
The villages we have come across on our way down are very basic. The one that we have stopped at now do not have running water, there is no electricity, we have seen nothing that resembles an outhouse. They fish, they gather clams, they grow rice, they have cattle, chickens and geese and they grow very basic gardens. There are mango and coconut trees but I don't think bananas grow well here. When we went ashore today we gave out some sugar, some milk powder and some salt, they asked for t-shirts and one fellow wanted tooth paste of all things. Our guide the other day said most women my age had lost all their teeth!!! Barry and I were talking about what you would do as a young person raised here and we figured you would become a fisherman. Not many of the people in this village spoke French which to me would indicate they had not gone to school, because all their schooling is done in French(I think). All the kids we met on shore had a bad cough and Barry is hoping he didn't catch anything. We went walking up the hill and saw a deep meter wide hole, we understand it was when they were looking for sapphires.
I hope to be able to give some position reports soon but we have not been able to connect very well, so if I can I will.