Tag: Marc Ravalomanana

  • McCaleb’s guest speakers enrich campus life

    The recent visit of W. Mark Lanier, J.D., to campus was more than an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to hear from a difference-maker. The noted Houston trial lawyer was another example of thought-provoking leaders from all walks of life brought to ACU by Dr. Gary McCaleb (’64) and the university’s Center for Building Community. […]

  • Madagascar presidential elections offer hope

    A lot has transpired on the island nation of Madagascar since 2008. That’s when 24 students in the Madagascar Presidential Scholars Program graduated from Abilene Christian University, anticipating roles in the government Marc Ravalomanana had formed in 2002 to lead their homeland to brighter days, or to use his considerable influence to secure careers in the private […]

  • Presidential Palace

    [Sunday afternoon] Ninety minutes of walking later, we ride by motorcade (and a lot slower, thankfully) to Iavoloha, where we are eager to visit the Presidential Palace – Madagascar’s version of the U.S. White House. It too, is white, built by Madagascar’s previous president in the 1970s, thanks to North Korean funding. It is spectacular, […]

  • Village tour

    [Sunday] After church, we are greeted outside by the mayor of the village, who invites us to tour the neighborhood of houses linked by narrow passages and foot-paths where chickens cross and children play. No doubt Ravalomanana’s close connection to this tiny community of his boyhood roots has colored his resolve to help lead his […]

  • The president’s church

    [Sunday] An hour after leaving the hotel, we arrive at the red-brick church building atop a mountain offering spectacular views of the countryside. The narrow road up the mountain has new blacktop, hairpin turns and no guardrails for our going-too-fast-for-comfort motorcade. The quaint house of worship is known as “the president’s church” in part because […]

  • MadaNASCAR

    [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 […]

  • A hot ticket

    [Saturday afternoon] The event is scheduled to start at 3 p.m., but more than half of the 425 chairs are filled at 2 p.m. by family and friends dressed in their finest. I lost count of the photographers but try to I.D. the ones representing the media for follow-up later. Half of the back wall […]

  • Arriving in style

    [Saturday afternoon] Ravalomanana arrives in a motorcade led by nine motorcyclists and including nearly 10 cars to transport him and his family and Cabinet members. Traffic is stopped in front of the hotel and a red carpet unrolled down the front steps. Inside, at the top of the circular staircase leading to the second floor, […]

  • The big day begins

    [Saturday morning] I eat my first food (other than a couple Ritz crackers) since dinner Wednesday night. There are myriad details to see to Saturday. ACU wants this event to feel the same as it does back in Moody Coliseum. Academic regalia including gowns and hoods, printed programs (also translated into Malagasy for our guests), […]