So, when I went to bed last night, there was no news. I got maybe 3 Google Alerts all day. My website went from 8000 hits 2 days ago to 3ooo yesterday. Everyone thought things were calmed down, from what I could glean from news and the internet. But the emails and texts and messages I was getting from friends throughout the island still reflected fear and uncertainty. When I opened my eyes this morning and then opened my computer, I had 15 Alerts and facebook was aflutter with the vaovao. There’s a smorgasbord of things for you to much on today.
The root causes are numerous. I have chosen just a few to comment on: the economy, opposing leadership styles, and politics.
People are not happy about the economy. The majority of the people are extremely poor and life has not improved for them. The poor are getting poorer and the wealthy are becoming wealthier. Some claim the president may have used his position to benefit personally and financially.
Some are asking, how can Rajaolina just proclaim that he’s in charge? Some are asking, where is Ravalomanana? Even more are asking, who is financially backing the Mayor in this endeavor to gain power over Madagascar? (Dare I even mention his name?) With this transition, will there be greater democracy and equality for the people–will anything change?
I’ve just received word that Sondra, my great friend and the co-founder of Spotlight Madagascar, has been evacuated with the help of Colin (HELP Madagascar) out of Tamatave, along with some RPCVs and current Peace Corps Volunteers. According to observers, there is tear gas, looting, grenades, and general destruction and anarchy. This was the intended site for our community center, in the idealistic world of our original vision and mission, and it’s very close to my heart. As I’m trying to process all of this information, it’s very difficult to see where these developments will take Madagascar, and what it will mean if the rest of the world doesn’t take notice.