Welcome to our new series Mada Life Diaries which was created as a way to see how real people spend their money and time living in Madagascar during one week!
As we will receive many perspectives spanning from all socio-economic backgrounds, our main goal is to confront the taboo around discussing money in the Malagasy culture and normalize uncomfortable conversations about the difference in qualities of life and spending power.
We hope that by normalizing uncomfortable subjects such as money and showing all aspects of life in Madagascar that it can bring about actionable solutions to fix the divide in Madagascar.
✨ Would you like to contribute and share your own Mada Life Diary? Contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today: our diarist is a University student who was studying abroad in the US but due to the pandemic, has returned to Madagascar to complete her studies remotely as well as to be with her family. She spends her time this week mostly studying and doing University via Zoom at home as well as venturing out to get ice cream in Analakely at Le Glacier, making lasary, and doing the weekly grocery haul with her family on Saturday!
Editor's Note: 1 USD is 3,792.35 Malagasy Ariary (3/22/21). Ar denotes Ariary.
Industry: Political Sciences
Age: 22 years old
Salary: 0 Ar
Monthly expenses: Around 200,000 Ar
Utilities: around 50,000 Ar
Rent: I live with my parents
Cell phone: 20,000 Ar
Savings: 20,000 Ar
Since I was a child, my parents have always been very good at teaching me the Malagasy culture and explaining the values of the Malagasy community. I have always lived in Antananarivo but my parents are from Farafangana and Antsirabe. However, we have family all over the place like in Manakara, Mahitsy, or even Tuléar. Having a big family is not always easy to keep up with but it gave me an immense advantage of being able to travel and discover many parts of Madagascar and its very diverse culture. I think in Antananarivo people are not so attached to their culture which is sad and overall the diversity of the island is not really being promoted as if only Antananarivo and its people mattered. I wish to continue learning more about the culture that exists outside of the mainstream and maybe someday I will be able to speak many dialects. I left Madagascar when I was 16 to study in South Africa. Every day I come home, I am always amazed by how amazing this country is. Everything is so beautiful and people are so good and interesting. I am very attached to this place. But at the same time, I am always very saddened by how corrupt the government is and how people suffer more and more, especially during Covid. People are desperate and there seem to be no end to the dark tunnel. When I grow up, I hope I become to bring actual and tangible positive changes to the country. The Malagasy and Madagascar deserve everything and more.
I spent all day home. Nothing interesting really happened. I did some work, arranged my meetings for the week, made my schedule, and focused on getting things done. I have to be organized since this week is very busy. I did some work, made lunch, made dinner and started my classes at 7:20pm. I did not spend money today. Daily Total: 0 Ar
I spent all day home. I took some rest but also did some work. When I am home, I like spending time with my cousin who lives close by. We studied together and made some “lasary” and some “sakay”. These are our specialty and it was so good. We made the achard with the sakoa 2,000 Ar but also voamadilo 1,000 Ar. So good. Then I prepared the meal for dinner when my parents return home and started my class at 7:20pm. Tuesdays are very busy, I stayed up on my chaining Zoom on Zoom meetings until 5am. I was exhausted. Daily total: 3,000 Ar
I was trying to work on my projects and catch up on my school works since this week I have many exams. I also had to do an applied exercise for one my research class, which consisted of an ethnographic observation. I really like getting to know Antananarivo and its society more but I also always want to challenge myself, so I chose to go to Le Glacier in Analakely, which had the reputation of being the meeting place for Malagasy sex workers and foreigners. Doing this study was very interesting and had some ice cream 5,000 Ar. I stayed there for a few hours in the morning and then I went home by bus 1,000 Ar before my classes start at 7:20pm. Daily total: 6,000 Ar
I woke up at 3:00am to finish my homework at 5:00am so I can start getting ready and have breakfast to leave the house by 7:00am to avoid traffic. I then took the cyclo-pousse 500 Ar and the bus 1000 Ar to go to Analakely, and got a new membership 30,000 Ar at the Institut Français de Madagascar (IFM) where I studied for a few hours. After that, I went to a beauty salon to ask about the cost of a hair color I wanted before taking the bus home. On the way, I was able to buy some cucumbers 1000 Ar and some “anandrano” 2000 Ar for lunch. I spent the rest of the day doing my homework and preparing for class. Daily total: 34,500 Ar
I went to town early to go to the dentist since I’ve had a problem with my teeth for a long time. After that I had to go to Ivato to meet with my team since we are working on an academic and professional orientation project for high schoolers on the suburbs of Antananarivo. We went to Dom Bosco, and then to the “Centre de Formation Techniques” in Ambohidratrimo to discuss about various logistics. We visited the place the “commune” (village town hall) offered for us to use. After that I went home and was stuck in the traffic for hours on the way. I spent 5,000 Ar on transportation in all. Daily total: 5,000 Ar
Saturday is the day to go to town for the market. With my family we usually go to Anosibe or Mahamasina to buy fresh fruits and vegetable, before we go to supermarkets like Score for more specific things. We also take advantage of us being all together to go to the restaurant in town. Then we return home and every one kind of does whatever he/she wants but every one usually just wants to relax with a movie for example. However, I don’t have time since my work is always waiting for me. My family and I spent around 100,000 Ar on the market and the restaurant. Daily total: 100,000 Ar
Sunday is another free day to catch up on all the work I have! However, since my mother is home and she enjoy gardening I also help take care of her plants. Then, as usual, we made a big meal for the family. After having lunch all together and cleaning dishes, I went back to doing my homework. Like every Sunday at 2pm, I tutored many of high schoolers who have some difficulty at school. We reviewed various subjects, going from French to physics to mathematics. This took my whole afternoon. I did not spend money today. Daily total: 0 Ar
Mada Life Diaries only reflect the experiences the individual diarist's experiences and does not reflect MadaLiving's point of view. MadaLiving does not in any way promote nor encourage illegal or harmful activities.
Would you like to contribute and share your own Mada Life Diary? Contact us directly at email@example.com.