A Kid's Life
Salama (hello) my name is Noah, and I am 8
years old. I live in Berivotra (bay-REEFT), Madagascar. My
country is actually a huge island off the southeast coast of Africa.
It is also made up of many small islands. The biggest island, also
called Madagascar, is the fourth largest in the entire world. The
capital of my country is Antananarivo, and it is also the largest city.
Malagasy is the main language of Madagascar, but we also speak French. It is also what the people who live in my country are called. By the way, Berivotra means "lots of wind" in Malagasy.
Like most of the people who live here, my family are farmers and herders. We raise rice in irrigated fields and herd cattle, most of which are zebus. Zebus are ox-like animals that live in the hills. Here in Madagascar we don't measure our wealth by how many cars or fancy houses we have. We measure wealth by how many cattle we own! In our country, there are nearly as many zebus as cattle. We also grow some bananas, sweet potatoes, and cassava.
Like most of the people here, I am of mixed black African and Indonesian descent. I love to go to church. Like about half of the people who live here, I am a Christian. There are also many Muslims and people who practice local African religions.
Madagascar is sandy and grassy in some areas like Berivotra. There are mountains in the north. In the west there are wide plains and some river valleys. In the southern part of the country it is a desert, and it is hot. It is cool in the central highland area of our country.
My house is made of logs and grass. The walls are logs and the roof is grass. T-shirts and shorts are what I usually wear. I carry water to the house. I like zebu meat.
Tomorrow I will go with my family to the graveyard. In my country, we have great respect for our ancestors. We spend a lot of time caring for the graveyards. My grandfather's tomb looks just like a painted house, and my grandmother's tomb has a beautifully cared wooden ornament, called a staff, on top. The last time I went to the graveyard, there were people who are from a local African religion. They made a sacrifice with cattle at their family's tomb. It's interesting having so many different religions within one country.
In 1996 scientists came to my city to find fossils. When they saw that we didn't have any school, they raised money and built one and then they hired a teacher. I like it a lot. I learn English, French, and other things. Most children in my country go to primary school, but only a small number ever go to high school.
I play a game that the person who is "it" has to catch you and touch you on the head. The person that got caught is now "it". Maybe one day when you visit my country we can play the game together.
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