Monday, 4 January 2010

Car Seats and Baobabs

We spent the end of the year in Morondava.  Morondava is southwest of Antananarivo (that's the capital, where we live), on the coast.

This is a photo of the Frenchman and the Bambino.
We were taking a large van from our hotel in Morondava to some baobab trees approximately 25 km away (that's about one hour's drive on the roads we had). 
Note that:

- there are no seatbelts;
- there is a big bar at the top of each seat, which baby can bang his head into in the event of a crash;
- don't even ask about the possibility of a carseat.

I'm trying to think what the righteous ladies on the "Family Safety" board at MotheringdotCommunity would say to all of this but of course their advice would be surreal in this context.  If you have ever read their discussions about the merits of the Britax carseat, or why you shouldn't get a Maxi-Cosi, or how long your baby should stay rear-facing, you'll know what I mean.  Travel in Africa makes you realise that if your only decision is whether to buy a MaxiCosi or a Britax, your child is already very fortunate.  Most small children here, if their family owns a vehicle at all, will be in a parent's arms in an old and completely unsafe car (or worse - on a motor bike) with not much for seatbelts and nothing in way of carseats or airbags.  (Oh, and their lungs will be black from the pollution that their car and all the other cars on their road produce).

The Frenchman held the Bambino's head forcefully against his chest and we all made the journey in one piece.  Here are photos of us and the baobabs.  They're amazing trees.  Their fruit has more vitamin C than an orange and more calcium than cow's milk.  Who knew?  Some baobab trees are thought to be thousands of years old.  Six baobab species are unique to Madagascar.

And finally, to mollify the ladies at MotheringdotCommunity, here is proof that a globetrotter mom really can nurse anywhere in the world that she finds herself with her baby.


olga vladimirsky said...

The trees are amazing, they do not even look real, they look like cartoon trees.
And I love baobab nursery, very natural.

Sarah said...

You should send this amazing picture into the magazine Mothering--they're always printing photos of moms nursing in interesting locales, but I don't remember ever having seen something like this one!

Ilaria said...

Yes, send it in! (Though they didn't print the one of me nursing Patrick on Mt Pinatubo, Phils...will try again with the Great Wall)

It is SOOOOO FUNNY to read about women who go all nuts about car seats...I've been in asia going on 6 years now...and it's just funny! A different world...