Monday, April 17, 2017

Madagascar (& South Africa)

With Ian's job, he has a team of folks on his team... a group in Frankfurt, one in DC, one in Johannesburg, and one in Bangkok. While he has a set of countries in his portfolio, he also accompanies each of his team members on a trip every year or two to one of the countries in their portfolios. For this trip, it was with his Joburg team member to the island vacation spot of Antananarivo, Madagascar.

Antananrivo gets high marks as a posting.  People seem to love living there, and the Embassy crew seems to get along well. As a vacation spot though, the city is not great. Get out of the city to the rest of the island for ecotourism, beaches, etc. and yes, Madagascar is pretty amazing.

But Ian was working, so I hung out at the hotel on a short street with gates and guards at both ends and a handful of shops in the middle. Had lazy breakfasts. Read a lot. Got a massage. And had plenty of time to relax and do nothing. Looking back, it was a nice break. While there, I admit I was approaching bored.

Then we saw lemurs and the world sparkled again. The nearby Lemur Park is only 45 minutes outside the city.  There are 9 types of lemurs, 6 diurnal and 3 nocturnal.

The countryside is pretty awesome.

The park tour is guided and lasts about an hour. Lemurs are fed several times a day so it's not hard to see them and the park is shaded and relatively small.

We returned to Johannesburg for a few days of both work and vacation. With a weekend to spend, we took the Gautrain to Pretoria to visit some friends from our Amman days.

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