In Ambatolampy (about halfway between Tana & Antsirabe), one could visit the workshops that make aluminium big pots, kettles, casseroles, jars, plates, dishes, spoons, forks... everything you may need in your kitchen, although the ones which use aluminium use to be the small people... Those items are cheaper & not made to last. Still, the casseroles and the pots last longer whilst the plates got bumps and lose their initial shape easily.
For decades (if not centuries), Ambatolampy craftsmen had been providing the whole island with those aluminium kitchen tools. And now, they've launched aluminium trinkets, masks, sculptures, tree plaques, flat chamilions... and even tiny pots for déco. I've never seen this aluminium craftwork anywhere else. Well done, guys ! Diversify, diversify !
To visit these workshops and see the metal melting and moving like a light vulcano lava on embers and ashes, ask anyone in Ambaolampy village or at Le Relais du pêcheur (eatery).
On the front but still partly hidden in the lush greenery around, this painted lady. Reported to be te oldest Antsirabe brick & concrete building ever. That was back to the era of the Queens (18th cent). I was told one of them used to stay there when visiting Antsirabe and indulging the joys of thermal spa in the nearby.
A widespread contest in Tana and Antsirabe...
It used to gather people of all kinds, rich and poor don't know barriers when it comes to cock battles.
Interesting to see the craze for it, the atmosphere, the worried cock breeders, those who bet on a particular beast and have to watch the contest...
I am not judgemental about cock battle. I use to eat chicken & love my garlic roasted chicken, after all. It's just that it's not my type of thing although quite spectacular to watch. And well, if interested to attend cock battles, ask any pousse-pousse puller (ricksaw) to drive you to the Western side of Sabotsy market. They all know the market & the cock battles.
I was hanging around the ochre mosque that morning. Adjusting lenses to take pictures of the sun shining behind the mosque and the temple - without the flare on my camera screendisplay- when I suddenly heard that noise. The vigorous march of a troop. No, not military! I looked at my right - from where the sound came- to see a sheep troop conducted by a man with a stick. For a time, I was so flabergasted I couldn't do anything except watch it evolve past the mosque. Unusual, this sight. Yet, so flaberggasted I was, I didn't take pic of them. The only one I got is a late shot of them from the rear... :-)
People here are laid-back so here I was, walking beside the shepherd and chatting with him, longtime enough to know where they were heading to... :-) Also, at first sight, I thought those sheeps belonged to some Muslim people near the mosque as Malagasy people (except the Southern tribes: Androy and others) are not traditionally mutton meat consumers. Seems not, the shepherd is traditional Malagasy (not Muslim).
The day after, as I wanted to know where they come from, I woke up earlier and had another stroll in the Malagasy quarter to witness the following shots. Swear, this is very unusual for me. My urban sheeps !
The level of medical care in Madagascar is minimal. Doctors receive no training in sub-specialties and often must do things they have not had training in. There is no ambulance, so in Antsirabe, you take pousse-pousse. Nurses have almost no training, even in basic cleanliness. But they try real hard and have a great attitude.
The Lutheran hospital is not in the center of the city, but is in a neighborhood that I think is southwest. I added this tip because I had a picture of the entrance sign and thought it might be needed by a visitor to this city. My wife is a surgeon, so I have a lot of pictures of surgeries, but I don't think you want to see that.