Friday, October 26, 2012

A lot of letters

It never ceases to amaze me how long words are in Malagasy language. Take the names of places. If you want to be able to read a village name, you have to literally stop your car to read the sign. There's no way one can absorb so many letters while driving by... unless you know the 'secret'.

It is actually quite simple, if you know a few basic words in Malagasy. For example:

Tanana         Houses / village
Ambato         Rock
Ambohi         Hill (from: votrahitra)
Ala                Forest
Nosy             Island
Rano             Water
Tani               Land

Mora             Easy / calm
Be                 Big
Kely              Small
Arivo             Thousand / many
Tsangana      Standing Up / elevated
Mahitsy         Straight
Mena             Red
Fotsy             White
Manga           Blue

Voila, now you can start combining. For example:

Ambatobe                 Big Rock
Ambatofotsy             White Rock
Analamahitsy            Straight Trees
Antananarivo            Many many houses
Analakely                  Small forest
Antanimena               Red Land
Antanifotsy               White Land
Menabe                     Big Red
Ambatomistangana    Elevated Rock
Analamanga               Blue Forest
Ambohimanga            Blue Hill
Ambohimangakely      Little Blue Hill
Morarano                   Calm water
Nosy Be                     Big Island

So what does this one mean?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Tough Stuff

The social enterprise Tough Stuff produces solar powered solutions for those who live without electricity. In Madagascar that means 90% of the households, including many in the cities.

The company's Chief Technical guy is a Dutch guy named Adriaan Mol (not the one from the children's books :-) who used to live in Madagascar.

I puchased the litlle light recently, to try it out. It comes with a small solar pad to be put in the sun for 8 hours, et power.

They say the Tough Stuff is 'incassable', indistructable Had to see that for myself. So...
  1. we tried to break it with a hammer
  2. I rolled over it with my car
  3. I made a serious effort to drown it. 
And guess what?

It's true! After being mistreated for an entire morning, Tough Stuff keeps shining like never before. 

Took a while to convince our gardener...but he tried!

A scratch on the back is the only damage.

Tyre marks still on it...

Drown baby, drown...

Rise and shine!

P.s. I recently bought a Nixon Coolpix AW 100 that is supposed to be waterproof, shock proof, bush proof, freezeproof, sandproof. I am tempted.