Last year I started a travel journal and it was a great experience, you might even remember my post about it. Instead of taking photos, I was drawing the things I found interesting or memorable during our holidays. Over the past three months I continued with this habit and kept a ‘Madagascar travel journal’.
Some paintings were done on location (all the black and white ones for example), others were done retrospectively, to capture a funny moment or remind me of a fascinating story.
Have you ever tried drawing instead of taking pictures? It requires much more time and attention, but it also means that the moment will be burnt into your memory in a very different way. I enjoyed sitting on my own (or oftentimes surrounded with local children) and drawing. This was my way of absorbing places, of creating my own bubble, away from my usual companions and finding some calm for half an hour or longer. On most occasions I couldn’t communicate with those who sat around me, so I didn’t even need to talk.
Malagasy people are very friendly and everyone I wanted to draw allowed me to do it. My favourite subject, however, was Vassa, a Vezo boatman from Morondava, who transported us during 6 days on his traditional boat (which actually was equipped with an engine). He was so reliable, so patient, funny and such a good seaman that we are still very impressed with him, many weeks later.