The tourist season is only half way through and Centre Lambahoany has nothing but satisfied customers.

The treks are by all considered the highlight of their journey in Madagascar. It ís a unique offer: only Centre Lambahoany works with the local population to organise treks in the rural community Fetraomby and adjoining communes.

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Homestay with the hospitable villagers, enjoying their dance and music after hiking in the jungle to spot the indri-indri or one of the twelve other species of lemur whose habitat is the rainforest, nothing but fresh air, submerged in rural Madagascar.

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MIVEHY consists of four nice, talented, young boys from Toamasina. They play beautiful music, inspired by the Malagasy musical traditions, that touched the heart strings of the audience that listened breathlessly on Friday evening 2 December at Centre Lambahoany. For the time being it is their last performance in Toamasina. They’ll try their luck in the capital Antananarivo. We wish them every success!

  

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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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.

The true Darwin island

A month of diversity spent in just a small part of a majestic country leaves me thinking how many wondrous things are left to see in this part of the world. An impression of our holiday can be read in the following excerpts.

Primary rainforests with lemurs, spiders, centipedes, millipedes, frogs, gekko’s and chameleons in all sorts and sizes. Not to mention medicinal plants, pandanuce, palmtrees, rose wood and palissander.

The Canal des Pangalanes with its awe-inspiring lakes, white sandy beaches and fishing villages and all this is just a stone’s throw away from the relentless crashing and beating of the Indian ocean. Watching the fishermen braving the waves in small pirogues at first dawn is something I’ll never forget.

The humpback whales, just of the Isle Sainte Marie, did justice to their reputation by jumping from the water, splashing their fins and tales and performing an occasional spy hop.

Exceptional ‘off the beaten track’ days with the people from Fetraomby and the surrounding villages of Andranaotra, Lanonana and Razanaka. Trekking through primary rainforest whilst seeing various kinds of truly wild lemurs, wading through rivers and rice paddies whilst eating bananas and anon fruit straight from the tree. Meeting people living a simple but happy life surrounded by nature and the ones they love.

Many thanks to George and Marcia, from Centre Lambahoany in Tamatave, for putting us in to contact with the lovely and kind people of Madagascar. I hope they will continue this important work for many years to come so the Malagasy people can profit from tourism without losing their culture and biodiversity.

 

Photo: Canal des Pangalanes, Wikipedia

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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