Our Man In Madagascar

This just in from Robert Strauss ’78:

After five years as Country Director for the Peace Corps in Cameroon, my family and I relocated in August 2007 to Madagascar where I have started a management consulting firm. Over New Year’s, I traveled to the town of Fianarantsoa to see Karen Schoonmaker Freudenberg (BMC 1978) who has been living there for the last ten years.

Karen has been working to keep the “Micheline,” a rubber-wheeled train developed by Michelin in the 1930s and now considered to be the world’s most unusual operating train, from joining the ranks of Madagascar’s other extinct species. We had made it 18 of the scheduled 21 kilometers when the Micheline’s clutch burnt out. We hoofed the last three kilometers before joining our families and the US Ambassador for lunch.

Regards,
Robert Strauss
Antananarivo, Madagascar

Robert confesses that when they met up for the first time in 30 years, Karen didn’t remember ever knowing him, despite his “once sporting an afro that was bigger than Sly Stone’s.”

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