I am back in the capital and enjoy the comfort of the nice boutique hotel Tamboho. No more zebu body parts. Instead there are luxury items such as Cesar salads, red wine, omelets, internet. But the coffee is worse and the pollution is worse – my throat is hurting again. Too me this proves that I am allergic to ‘Tana toxics.’

Across from the hotel is a small shopping center with a Shoprite, a homeopathic shop (homeopathy and plant-based beauty and healing is big in Madagascar), a few salons, a pharmacy, some clothes and shoes stores and a spice store that sells Malagasy soaps, oils and spices in attractive little containers for double the price at the market, even the tourist market.

On the second floor is a food court which provided a nice alternative to the hotel’s small menu which changes only once every year (it actually just did). I eat at the hotel when I have a great need for foie gras and crème brulee. The food court is for oysters, sushi, quiches, salads or Lebanese food, sandwiches and smoothies.

Further down there is the cute baby clothes store where I go each time to buy yet another set of French fashion dresses for Saffi. Although she has more dresses than she will be able to wear I can’t help myself. They are the kind of dresses for show, not for playing in the mud.

I was dropped off at noon on Wednesday at the hotel, after the 1200 or so kilometers on the road. I spent the afternoon doing body maintenance: a pedicure, a haircut, a nice lunch, a nap and a massage. I caught up on my emails, on writing and on digesting the many impressions from the amazing trip I just made.

On Thursday the team came back together at the MSH office to plan our next moves, after I leave Madagascar. There are many moving parts and much at stake. My team is reaching high and wants to include the First Lady. She is the patron of  CARMMA which stands for the Campaign for the Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa. The campaign was launched by the African Union in May 2009. Our leadership program is supposed to further accelerate the campaign here in Madagascar. It would be a great honor for the teams selected to present, but the protocol to make this happen is daunting.



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April 2017
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