Homage to a Madagascar Warrior.
When I was little, my Uncle Paul and my dad helped me become interested in stamp collecting. They gave me a big bag full of little colorful paper pictures and a book in which to attach them according to country. It was from this earliest time that I first learned the word Madagascar and heard my father intone, with his heavy German accent, its capital Antananarivo. My favorite stamp from there, featured what I assumed was a tribal chief bedecked in skins and holding a spear.
Over sixty years have past since I proudly found the right spot on the album page and affixed this fellow to a black and white photo of himself. I think how much the world has changed since then and consider the fact that if this warrior were still alive, he might today be carrying a cellphone tucked in his loincloth.
My curiosity drives me to explore what was once his magical world and to meet his ancestors and descendants. I wonder what I might find that still shows the remnants of that former time. Feeling amazing excitement and anticipation of adventure, I write today from the Seattle airport, finishing what might be my last cup of Starbucks for some time, as I wait for my flight which will eventually take me to his large island off of East Africa. In a way, I feel a sensation that he has invited me, lured me since childhood to experience his mysterious world. I am finally answering the call and am on the way.
I will do my best to stay in touch with you, my friends and family, and report on what I find over this next month although opportunity to connect to the internet may be intermittent.