Tips and advice to thrive in Madagascar


When living in a foreign country, you have to adapt to a new environment, various cultures and different social codes.

How did you manage to adjust to Madagascar?

How long does it take to feel at home? Would you say it is an easy process?

According to you, what is key for a successful integration process in Madagascar?

Thank you in advance for sharing your experience!


The best way to adapt is to not to expect it to be like your home country. Be ready to learn and most importantly learn the Malagasy language. Even if it's just the basics to get around, communicate better with the people. They will appreciate your effort to learn the language and you will have a lot more fun too

It took us a couple of years 2-3 for it to feel like home. It was then that we could communicate well enough in the language.
It's a nice country to live in even though English isn't widely spoken.

First of all one has to come to terms that no matter how long you live here you will never be Malagasy.  I am called the American or by the neighbors my Malagasy name ( and never my American name Alex), so I almost never hear vasaha ca va. I hear Salama  to say hello.
After 14 years my Malagasy wife has taught me the Malagasy way and I have taught her the American way and in some cases we have reversed roles on certain issues.
Yes learning the language of the tribe you live with is important but there are phrases that are steeped in culture which requires a Malagasy lifestyle or birthright  to have a full understanding.
In general we are all people and as long as you are nice and respectful of others then you are at more than halfway there.   It was an easy process for me because I have traveled several times around the world and realize that my way is no better or worse than another way. So I get along with the locals very well- much better than my own tribe who are stiff in their beliefs and are very opinionated , but then again their travels have been within their own comfort zone as in visiting Europe which is much like USA..
In the beginning I did start travel in the overdeveloped world, but was much more comfortable in traveling in the underdeveloped world which is about 80% of the planet.  So when it came time to settle in Madagascar I was well prepared and all I needed to do was to learn the ways of the Malgasy so I could complete my mission as a global citizen and pass this on to my children in Madagascar, whom are by the way more Malagasy than me.

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