Around the Palaces and to the Zoo

Ezra, Hasina, Seheno, her little brother and I walked around the two palaces that are here in Antananarivo and went to the zoo. It was a gorgeous day and so much fun to learn a little of the history of the place from our tour guide.
This is a giant catholic church that is below the palaces.

Hasina, Seheno's little brother, Seheno, and Ezra
The girls grew up going to Good News Club and now teach GNCs. I love hanging out with them and can't wait to teach together soon!

The view of the city was stunning! I live out by the hills to the far left. The lake is man made and in the shape of a heart. 

This is one of the two old palaces up at the top of the hill. When Janet was here in October, it was open and we were able to go inside and look at the artifacts, on this day it was closed.

Our tour guide took a picture of us here on the stairs of the palace.

These are some old houses from the time of the palace. They are just below the palace. Aren't they cute?

This is the old court 'house.' They made it without walls to that anyone could watch the precedings, even the death sentences which was administered here.

The body of water here is the water reservoir for all of Antananarivo. The crops that look like rice is actually not rice but a lettuce type plant that is eaten here called anana.

Our guide showed us many flowers and plants around the area that can be used as medicines. This flower is used as a medicine for a certain disease by first drying it, then crumbling it up, rolling it in cigarette paper and smoking it.

This is an old church near the palace. The flower on the tower is also on the old 1 ariary coin.

The second palace was burned out on the inside a while back. No one can go in this one and there are guards outside the gate. Even people taking pictures from the gate need to do it quickly and not linger.

These are some of my favorite trees that we saw at the zoo that day. The palaces are on the top of the hill that is in the background.
We ended up spending all day around the palaces and at the zoo which involved climbing more stair cases then I have had to in a long time. We decided it would be a good idea to live at the top of the hill and have to climb these everyday. :) We started out at 8am and got back home around 6pm. It was a great opportunity to spend ten hours straight listening to and speaking Malagasy. I was thrilled that I could understand alot of what the tour guide was explaining and even able to ask some questions about what he was explaining. Next time you are passing through Madagascar, be sure to take a tour of the area. Pictures just don't do it justice. :)

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