Madagascar: A gemologist’s journey (Ambolimalika)

The next morning we drove to a small fishing village for the day. It was stunningly beautiful. We could swim, take a boat ride, snorkel, relax on the beach and read a book or take a walk among other things.

Although Ambolimalika was absolutely beautiful, it is a very poor village.

Ambolimalika Madagascar
We strolled along the beach then into the local village where they make their boats out of a single tree stump. A group of children were happy to give us a tour…they taught us the words to one of their songs. In return, I taught them how to say I Love You in English.

Back at the beach, I swam, had an amazing feast, then me and friend Jaroslav went for a walk. I made a cute little friend, Mayasa, along the way. She spent time with me on the beach and absolutely amazed at the camera.

On my return visit to Madagascar in November, I was determined to find Mayasa again. I had a special gift bag to give her. It took me two days to find her, but we were finally reunited. She recognized me immediately and was happy to receive her gift bag.

That evening back at the Nautillus Resort, we enjoyed singing and drumming by a group of Malagasy girls called Boloco Malagasy. Boloco Malagasy was started as a non-profit organization to give girls in poor villages a chance at a better life. I would strongly suggest you look them up on YouTube. They have several amazing videos there.

After this song they lead us down to the beach, still beating on their drums, to a huge bonfire where we all danced and enjoyed the music on the beach.

Our next day we fly to Morondava to reunite with our drivers.

Author: Michelle M. Rahm is a GIA-trained Graduate Gemologist and is President of Colorado’s Mile High Chapter of the GIA Alumni Association. She has been selling gemstones and jewelry online since 1997. Visit her websites and

About mrahm

Michelle holds a Graduate Gemologist Diploma, Graduate Diamonds Diploma and Graduate Colored Stones Diploma through the Gemological Institute of America's distance education program. Michelle currently serves as President of the Mile High GIA Alumni Association. She also serves on the board of the Rocky Mountain Jeweler's Association and is a member of the American Gem Trade Association.
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