Top 5 Must-Sees in Mahanoro 

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!

Local fisherman coming in from the ocean

Showing the daily catch

Sorting the fish to sell

Taking the canoe from the ocean to the freshwater canal

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. 

Canal des Pangalanes (bridge to the left)

Canal des Pangalanes and the Indian Ocean in the back

Fishermen washing off the salty water in freshwater

Fishermen’s homes

Washing in the Canal des Pangalanes

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: 

Need flip-flops or underwear?

Shoes and t-shirts


Market pathway: fabrics, buckets, clothes, etc.

Shovels and more shovels

Tools and kitchenware

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. 

The center field and track

Basketball courts

Parading at the New School Year celebration

Parading past the stage at the New School Year Celebration

Students waiting to dance traditional dances

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. 

At the school entrance: the main office

On the larger compound: students going home after a day of studies

Walkway on the larger compound

Entrance to St. Marie

At St. Marie

My students lining up before entering

I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into my town here in Madagascar! 


2 thoughts on “Top 5 Must-Sees in Mahanoro 

  1. Oh, Molly I love seeing where you are living and what you are doing every day. These are places we would never see if it weren’t for you living there and communicating with us. It sounds like you are enjoying yourself. I must say you are a very adventurous girl. The children of Madagascar are so lucky to have you. I wonder how much native language is spoken there and how much you have learned. Keep your spirits up (I can’t imagine you any other way) and write again soon.

    Carol aka Gramma Carol – as per Lissy

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Molly
    loved the tour of your home away from home. Those children r very lucky to have you in their lives. I can’t believe you’ve been gone almost a year. I think and pray for you daily hope u can feel the love.

    Liked by 1 person

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