We all know Santa is incredibly busy at this time of the year. However, this year he paid special attention to the small town of Hellville, he even brought his band with him!
Whilst walking towards the school on the morning of Christmas Eve, we began to hear a repetitive drumming sound that was getting louder and louder. So we stopped and listened wondering whether it was the sound of a Zebu (cow) herd. Suddenly from around the corner we were greeted by Santa and his entire parade of musicians and dancers marching towards us. It was such a surprise! I whipped out my camera and we watched them pass. Hundreds of school children followed Santa, who was leading them to school. What an escort!
Everyone was cheering and singing, some songs we recognised. For example, ‘Silent Night’, played with a Malagasy twist. All the children sang along and danced their way to classes.
Spending Christmas here in Madagascar has been quite the experience, and I’ve loved it! It has felt strange, not only because it’s my first one away from home but because they celebrate it very differently here (not to mention how strange it felt to be in 32 degree heat whilst eating my Christmas dinner). But throughout December, Hellville began to get more festive. There are a few lights in some of the restaurants and a very unconventional Christmas tree made out of green glass bottles. Even though decoration was minimal, the festive spirit immediately hit me after seeing Santa walking down the street, and it made my day.
By Amy Wright - Field Communications Officer
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