And then Rola Gamana was welcomed at Centre Lambahoany. As part of his tour of Madagascar he called in at Toamasina and Centre Lambahoany appeared to be the best place for his concert. This innovator uses all kinds of materials to build his instruments and thus to make music: bamboo, calabashes, seeds, even a bucket of water. He is very involved with respect to the endangered Malagasy nature. His music is different even a little mystic. The public was very quiet and some were even moved to tears.

RolaGamana28092011a

 

 

Friday 23 September many different lambahaony’s were to be admired at Centre Lambahoany. Dosy and Lucienne had organised an evening with different groups all dressed in multicoloured lambahoany’s.

Traditional music

Traditional instruments, traditional music, traditional clothing and traditional dance, including spinning with a bottle filled with water on the head! Acting out traditional life (planting rice, harvesting rice, pounding rice, eating rice) completed that part of the evening. Next Dosy and Lucienne proved they are not only good at organising but also have good singing voices.

Rap, R&B, Reggae en Roots, the ingredients of a sparkling show created by the two Rasta’s from Mahajanga, that rocked Centre Lambahoany. The local artist Shao Boana had already loosened up the audience, and with Mirajeky they could really go crazy. One swaying mass of happy youngsters, joining in the singing, underneath a starry sky was the result.

The organisation, Association des Jeunes Organisateurs de Tamatave, had found two major sponsors for the event: Skol, the new Malagasy brand of beer, and Orange the telephone company. They most certainly will not regret their sponsoring.

The weekend of 13-14 of August, Centre Lambahoany was host to the VAKOKA GASY traditional dance and music festival. Several groups performed different kinds of music and dance from several parts of Madagascar. One group of dancers after the other mounted the stage, dressed in lambahoany’s, did their best, accompanied by accordion, valiha and djembé. A less traditional rapper also did his share. That sounds great in Malagasy! the public came in large numbers and enjoyed it to the full.

 

 

On June 26th Madagascar celebrates its independence. It is also the beginning of the school holidays. On the eve of the 26th there is a traditional display of fireworks.

Party Centre Lambahoany

For the first time there was also a roaring party at Centre Lambahaony. All secondary schools were invited to have their talented students perform at Centre Lambahoany. It was a tremendous success. All morning different martial arts groups showed their skills. Well known martial arts were represented, like Karate, Tae Kwando, Poekoelan, Capoeira and Kick boxing, but also two Malagasy Kung Fy styles: Kung Fu Kudo Washi and Kung Fu Ga Ma Ka.

At 3 o’clock p.m. the music- and dance groups mounted the stage. Many different styles of music could be heard, rock, punk but also traditional Malagasy music and dance. It was a good atmosphere all day long. Everyone applauded for all the artists, also – especially – those from other schools. The disco afterwards lasted till the early hours.

June 26th is an important day in Madagascar, the day the country became independent after almost seventy years of French colonial rule.

Traditionally in Toamasina, this day is commemorated with a parade on the Avenue de l’Indépendance, where all kinds of social groups present themselves. On the urgent request of the Poekoelan students of Centre Lambahoany, the Poekoelan School participated in the parade. After waiting for several hours, the students paraded the Avenue where Important People and ordinary people were watching. Together with representatives of other Martial Arts they formed a colourful procession.

Centre Lambahoany was mentioned twice by the announcer: Poekoelan of Centre Lambahoany and Capoeira of Centre Lambahoany!

 

For three days the Centre Lambahoany domain of the national radio station RTA.

Starting at 7:30 in the morning several local music groups and bands made an appearance to play and give interviews. The recordings will be broadcasted nationwide all week. Many of the musicians had already performed at Centre Lambahoany and in the interviews the name of the Centre was often mentioned.

Although silence was required as not to disturb the recordings, those at the Centre could enjoy all kinds of music, from SLAM to rock, from traditional music from different parts of the country to church choirs with religious songs.

By now the RTA crew has returned to Antananarivo, tired and satisfied and the Tamatave music is a little better known.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently we discovered a chameleon laying eggs in our garden. We have never seen this before, so we quickly got our camera and made a little video.

Of course we will keep you updated as soon as the eggs are being hatched.

 

 

A new touristic site, a historic cave and the summit of the hill where once a king resided are now open to the public. It takes some stamina to arrive, but the stayers are rewarded! The cave is high upon the hill near the hamlet Marovato in the Eastern Rainforest of Madagascar. Marovato is only accessible on foot, an eight kilometre walk from Gismay, where the boat from Brickaville moors. The cave is a little more uphill. Here, in times of unrest people would hide. The last time was during the 1947 insurrection against the colonial rule. Since then, the cave was filled up with dirt. But the villagers did a good job to improve the path that leads to the cave and cleaned out the cave itself, which is much deeper than they ever expected. A small puddle has formed in the middle, much to the delight of the Indri-indri that live in the surrounding forest. They use it as a watering place. The indri-indri, a black and white lemur, is a sacred animal for the local people and therefore it is not very shy. Thus there is a reasonable chance to spot them.

BeratyCave

The path to the cave continues to the summit where one has a splendid view of the surroundings. Once, a king lived upon this summit where he was protected against his enemies. The grandson of the last king is now the tangalamena (warden of traditions) of Marovato.

More information about Marovato, the cave and the king can be found in a brochure that shortly will be available as a download from this site. Also, a new trek including a visit of this new touristic site will be put together by the local organisation, Rianala, and Centre Lambahoany and published on this site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured image (top): Brickaville

Fetraomby celebrated World Tourism Day. It was at the same time an opportunity to inform the world about the beginning of several new projects in the vicinity. All projects have the same aim: nature conservation and community development, in this still rich but already endangered part of the rainforests of East Madagascar.

Our partner organization RIANALA did a great job. Extra boats had been organized to transport authorities and tourists to Fetraomby. All tourist accommodations were, as always, in top shape. So was the village: the celebration started with the proclamation of the winner of the match ‘cleaning the village’. A boat race and a sack race were the next items on the programme, followed by a football match, which was won by the Fetraomby team!

As soon as it was dark enough, around 6 p.m., several instructive documentaries about the environment were projected on a big screen. Despite the drizzle the entire villages and all visitors from neighbouring villages were captivated. Television is already a rarity in these parts, let alone a big screen. The Friday evening was rounded off with a disco for the young. It lasted until the early hours of Saturday morning.

Folkloristische Dans

Saturday commenced with a more serious part of the programme: saluting the flag, singing the national hymn. Then M. Etienne, chairperson of Rianala welcomed the district manager, the district had of the gendarmerie, the mayor, and the representatives of the organisations contributing to the nature conservation and community development projects. The speeches by the authorities alternated with folkloristic dances, a match in eloquence (kabary) and poetry, a little boy demonstrating his ability in back flips and another little boy mimicking several birds, much to the amusement of the public. Especially the cock was a great success.

After giving out the prices to the winners, lunch was ready. Unfortunately authorities and tourists had to eat from plates, others used ravinala (traveller palm leaves) both as plate and as spoon.

The afternoon was dedicated to a visit of the pierre bizarre, a sacred place, only to be visited after a ceremony for the ancestors, and once again the young were treated on a disco.

Rianala wants to thank all sponsors who made this happening possible, first and foremost Ambatovy, but also Aspinall, Conservation International and Centre Lambahoany.

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