can’t tell you a story about Madagascar. Stories have a
beginning, a middle and an end. There tends to be some sort of
message in them and a clear trajectory towards uncovering it. But
the days I spent on this island nation adrift off the coast of
Mozambique cannot be chronicled or distilled. They are a matryoshka
doll of tales, a patchwork of encounters.
destinations come with a preformed narrative that shapes
your expectations – you’ve read the bumf, seen photographs
plastered all over Instagram and your colleague visited last year.
However, I had few preconceptions of Madagascar. Unlike Kenya with
safaris or Bali with beaches, it has not been neatly pre-packaged
for tourists but is instead raw, rough around the edges and
unabashedly true to itself. As a result, I find myself clumsily
clutching at memories: there is no map on which to plot my
coordinates or skeleton on which to hang my words…