[Friday morning] I feel among the living, finally, but make no fast moves and also decline breakfast. We have a meeting at MBS, the TV station owned by President Ravalomanana, and have been told to expect more filmed interviews for Drs. Money, Tyson and McCaleb. We drive about 15 minutes to their facility, which is at the top of a steep road, behind a security gate and on a hill overlooking the River Ikopa where people are washing clothes and making bricks. We are greeted by station manager Rolland Aimé Andriamahenina, who takes us to the office of MBS director general Haja Fredy Andriamiadanarivo for a meeting interpreted by François Maka, technical advisor to the Minister of Education.
MBS is a group of businesses including a TV station (also called MBS), two radio stations and two newspapers. Andriamiadanarivo says their motto is to transmit information and educate people, and includes Christian education. “We want to be a model to the Malagasy regarding how to act, to communicate and to collaborate,” he says. “We are aware Malagasy don’t have enough information about the rest of the world, and we try to fill that need.” The visit provides fascinating background to Ravalomanana’s efforts to explain and implement the strategic Madagascar Action Plan to help accelerate the advancement of his nation.
MBS studios sport excellent state-of-the-art equipment, with considerably more staff than the state-run station we visited earlier. The three ACU administrators are interviewed in the main studio. Questions ranged from how the ACU-Madagascar program started, what the word “Christian” implies in ACU’s name, how students performed in their studies, whether more students would be sent to Abilene, and the group’s impressions of its Madagascar visit.
The studio is quite warm and that, combined with the stop-and-go ride back to the hotel along Antananarivo’s congested city streets, has my head spinning and stomach flip-flopping again. I return to the room for a few hours while the group excursion heads out for more shopping.