[Sunday morning] While a few from our group attended local congregations with Malagasy friends and family, the rest of us are invited to attend Ravalomanana’s congregation, the Church of Jesus Christ of Madagascar. We are picked up at 8:45 a.m. for a police motorcycle-led escort – lights flashing and siren blaring. The motorcade includes 8 cars of government officials and two buses for our group and families of 13 of the 24 students still in town. We race along the same crowded streets where we dodged traffic at a much slower pace during the week, only this time at more than 100 kph (kilometers per hour), drawing audible gasps from the group as we take curves and corners like a NASCAR Chevy, only with seating for two dozen dressed in church clothes. Other foot and vehicle traffic pull to the side of the road, except for a couple of bicylists who draw a stern finger-shaking from the motorcade leader before speeding off again. Our friendly and knowledgeable tour guide for the week, Mamy Randriamanantena (pictured here; you can hire him for your next trip to Madagascar by emailing him email@example.com), forgoes his normal spot standing in the stairwell for a safer sitting position, his eyes as big around as sausages on the Carlton buffet as we zoom along. Was this the first time he’s been in a vehicle going this fast, he is asked. “No, the second,” he replies, holding up 2 fingers. He says the first time also had to do with a vehicle clipping along on presidential business. Our motorcade is well-planned; there is a soldier, rifle drawn, standing at each intersection of street and highway to block oncoming traffic. There is no mistaking in Madagascar when its president or his proxy are on the road.