Take a tour of my town and the top places to see!
1. One of my favorite local things to do is to go to the beach in the morning and buy fish from the fishermen as they come in from the ocean. It’s fresh fish and seafood, and very cheap!
2. Next, at this same place where the fishermen come in from the ocean, is the bridge. The rano mamy (literally: sweet water) is the Canal des Pangalanes which meets the rano masina (salty water), the Indian Ocean. When the fishermen come in from the ocean they wash off in the Canal. I was also told that the canal is “Mahanoro’s swimming pool,” where people learn how to swim. One can also see women washing clothes (usually the fishermen’s families). This bridge area is also seen in Malagasy music videos, so people like to come and take pictures at the spot seen in music videos.
3. Mahanoro has two markets: bazary be (pronounced [be] bé), the large market, and bazary kely, the small market. As seen in my last post, bazary be is where I go almost every day to do my food shopping. There you can find fruits (bananas and the seasonal fruit), vegetables such as greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, carrots, ginger, beets, potatoes, zucchini, pumpkin, etc., live chickens, ducks, butchers selling beef, pork, ground beef, and sausage, and fish and seafood. Depending on the day, if you didn’t go to the beach to buy the daily catch, the fish and seafood vary on quality and quantity. You can find shrimp, jumbo shrimp, fish from the ocean and from the canal, shark, and rock lobster.
Bazary kely is where you go if you need things for the household, clothes, shoes, and fabrics. Household items include things such as kitchenware (plates, bowls, cups, glasses, silverware), buckets, tools, and electronics like speakers, solar panels, etc. What’s impressive is that the sellers put up and take down every item each morning and night. The following pictures are all from bazary kely:
4. The fourth must-see is the stade (the stadium). They hold concerts, sports and school events, and weekly physical education for Mahanoro’s schools. There is a center field with a surrounding track, a stage, and basketball courts.
School events include celebrations at the beginning and throughout the school year. This year the new school year celebration was held in Mahanoro. Schools from Mahanoro and its surrounding communities participated. The students, teachers, and administration paraded through town to the stade. They had speeches, traditional dances and one last parade around the track to introduce all the schools.
5. The last must-see of Mahanoro is the CEG (middle school) where I work. The school is so big that it has two compounds. The bigger compound with the main office and small library, has about 16 classrooms for the equivalent grades of 8th and 9th. The 16 classrooms aren’t enough for all the students; there’s one large room split into 3 classrooms by makeshift walls and chalkboards.
The smaller compound has an office and 15 classrooms for the equivalent of 6th and 7th grades. The larger compound is called Madagascar and the smaller one is called St. Marie. St. Marie is the small island east of Madagascar.
I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into my town here in Madagascar!