I just got back from my first field mission in a rural community in eastern Madagascar. The village of Antsiradava, literally meaning the long beach, is located in Ambatondrazaka district. A handful of mud houses with straw roofs are scattered around the red dirt road - all around it, agricultural fields, zebu pens, and a few fruit trees. Red dust covers every single building, villager, or farm animal, and there are quite a few of those. Shepherds lead small herds of zebus through the main road, and hordes of chicken, geese and ducks chase each other among the houses. Hungry-looking dogs and barefoot children complete the picture. When the sun is out it's pleasant enough to stay out in the streets, sipping some warm coke – no electricity for the fridge, here – but during the Malagasy winter a fine rain often falls on the dusty village.