Archive for Madagascar

pictures at an exhibition

Posted in Kids, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on November 25, 2017 by xi'an

Last weekend we went to a local cultural centre to check on the exhibit of pictures from Madagascar our daughter and her friends had set to a month, following their humanitarian trip there last summer that was supported in part by the town council. While we had already seem these pictures, it was nice to see them in perspective. Hopefully inducing more volunteers to spend time in this particularly poor country, facing a silent humanitarian crisis. Including numerous cases of pneumonic plague… Donations can be made to MadaClinics, the NGO supporting medical rural centres. (USAid also has a program specifically aimed at Madagascar.)

World Contraception Day [donations]

Posted in Kids, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , on September 27, 2017 by xi'an

As today, September 26, is World Contraception Day, as contraception is under threat, even in some supposedly developed countries, and as my daughter, back from a medical internship this summer at a dispensary at Maventibao in rural northern Madagascar, reported treating a high number of sexually transmitted diseases, here is a call for donations to MadaClinics, the NGO supporting such medical rural centres.

humanitarian project in Madagascar

Posted in Books, Kids, pictures, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 15, 2017 by xi'an

As the budget of the humanitarian trip to Madagascar our daughter organises with other students of the Paris-Sud Medical School next summer is still short of several thousand euros, I repost the call for support I made a few months ago.

Their project is called Mada Tsatsaka, mada for Madagascar and tsatsaka for a local lizard. The team plans to bring basic drugs and educational material and to work in a dispensary, an orphanage, as well as a shelter for women victims of violence. (More below!)

I thus bring this project to the ‘Og’s readers’ attention in case they wish to support. The best approach is use this web site for donations (in English) to Evadeh Mada Tsatsaka. (Evadeh is the mother association for all humanitarian projects in the medical school.) A free-of-charge (!) alternative is to shop on amazon.com following this associate link as I vouch to transfer all my associate gains in the next four months to the project.

Upon request, more details on the project:

  • 2 weeks in Maventibao working in a clinic : Mada Clinics, helping two nurses with free medical examinations and providing extra medical equipment and drugs. And also helping with drinking water improvement. The team further hopes to help with the purchase of a car associated with the clinic and linking with the hospital in  Diego (4h away) and with hiring a doctor in the nearby clinic of Amboangamamy.
  • 2 weeks in an orphanage in Antananarivo, Ankanifitahiana, in collaboration with BLOC Léo Madagascar, helping in financing and installing a library and a music room, and participating in classes and games with the children. Depending on the funding, the team would also like to help with installing a solar oven.

Mada Tsatsaka

Posted in Books, Kids, pictures, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , on December 17, 2016 by xi'an

Along with other students of the Paris-Sud Medical School, our daughter is planning a humanitarian trip to Madagascar next summer, following a long-term tradition in her school with groups sent to Madagascar as well as Vietnam, Peru and Nepal. The project is called Mada Tsatsaka, mada for Madagascar and tsatsaka for a local lizard. They plan to bring basic drugs and educational material and to work in a dispensary, an orphanage, as well as a shelter for women victims of violence. They have been now working for several months at meeting the budget for this project, from selling pies and quiches on local markets (I helped with the quiches!) to wrapping gifts at supermakets all around, to engaging local authorities and charities, but are still far from reaching this goal.

I thus bring this project to the ‘Og’s readers’ attention in case they wish to support. The best approach is use this donation form (in English) for Evadeh Mada Tsatsaka. A free of charge (!) alternative is to shop on amazon.com following this associate link as I vouch to transfer all my associate gains in the next six months to the project.

genetics

Posted in Books, Kids, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2012 by xi'an

Today, I was reading in the science leaflet of Le Monde about a new magnitude in sequencing cancerous tumors (wrong link, I know…). This made me wonder whether the sequence of (hundreds of) mutations leading from a normal cell to a cancerous one could be reconstituted in the way a genealogy is. (This reminds me of another exciting genetic article I read in the Eurostar back from London on Thursday, in the Economist, about the colonization of Madagascar by 30 women from the Malay archipelago: “The island was one of the last places on Earth to be settled, receiving its earliest migrants in the middle of the first millennium AD…“)

As a double coincidence, I was reading La Recherche yesterday in the métro to Dauphine, which central theme this month is about heredity beyond genetics. (Double because this also connected with the meeting in London.) The keyword is epigenetics, namely the activation or inactivation of a gene and the hereditary transmission of this character w/o a genetic mutation. This is quite interesting as it implies the hereditability of some adopted traits, i.e. forces one to reconsider the nature versus nurture debate. (This sentence is another input due to Galton!) It also implies that a much faster rate of species differentiation due to environmental changes (than the purely genetic one) is possible, which may sound promising in the light of the fast climate changes we are currently facing. However, what I do not understand is why the journal included a paper on the consequences of epigenetics on the Darwinian theory of evolution and… intelligent design. Indeed, I do not see why the inclusion of different vectors in the hereditary process would contradict Darwin’s notion of natural selection. Or even why considering a scientific modification or replacement of the current Darwinian theory of evolution would be an issue. Charles Darwin wrote his book in 1859, prior to the start of genetics, and the immense advances made since then led to modifications and adjustments from his original views. Without involving any irrational belief in the process.

Plane talks

Posted in Travel with tags , , , , on September 23, 2011 by xi'an

(Heard this part of a phone conversation in the queue at the security check in Roissy airport)

Oui, le secrétaire de Martine Aubry m’a laissé un message sur mon portable. Tu sais de quoi il s’agit ?

[The secretary of Martine Aubry, a Socialist candidate for the French presidential elections, left a message on my cell-phone. Do you have an idea of what it is about?]

And then I sat in the A380 plane to New York next to a journalist from Madagascar, who was traveling to the UN as part of a diplomatic delegation along the Malgache president Andry Rajoelina (who was sitting downstairs in first class), as well as a bodygard, a translator and the head of the armed forces, sitting across the aisle from me. We had an interesting if lengthy chat about his country and the current transition towards an international recognition represented by this trip. And his technical tricks to transmit his coverage back to Madagascar via You Tube, since the Malgache television is unable to support more than one cameraman for the event…