I’m Lisa B. Lee aka Malagasy Lisa, and I’m traveling around the globe, living in lots of different countries, and supporting myself on ONLY my monthly Social Security Retirement Benefit. And despite having limited funds, of less than $2,000/month, I am living the most wonderful, comfortable, exciting and rewarding life you can imagine. I welcome you to follow along with me on my journey.

HOW CAN I HELP? My primary motivation for traveling the globe is to find people and situations in need of my help, whether it be financial, technical, educational, social, whatever, and I’ve found out that a little amount of good can go a long way, especially in developing nations. Though I live on a fixed income and can donate limited funds, I am volunteering my time, expertise, guidance, and emotional support to individuals and groups, and hopefully leaving them better off than when I encountered them. I don’t have all the answers, but I do enjoying helping others who I feel deserve my help. I am chronicling some of these adventures here, on my Web site.

COVID-19 – The year 2020’s plan all went to hell when Covid-19 hit, and as a result, my plans to move to Ghana are on hold for at least another year. In the meantime, I’m enjoying establishing my base here, in Madagascar, as much as I can, considering the circumstances. As I jump around the globe, exploring new countries, cuisines and cultures, Madagascar will always be the base to which I return between jumps.

So, let’s get started exploring Madagascar.

Here’s a short video that tells you how and why I chose Madagascar.

My Malagasy Roots

My paternal grandfather’s grandfather’s grandfather, William Lee, was Malagasy, which is the term used to describe people born on the island nation of Madagascar, as well as the language they speak. He left the island about 1774 and arrived in what would become Canada, where he later served as a Black Loyalist in the American Revolutionary War.

His son, Peter Lee, was born in what was then Upper Canada and fought in the Coloured Corps in the War of 1812. Peter died on Jan 1, 1817 from injuries he suffered in the war (he’d been bayonetted), and his death left his widow, Mary Lee, with two small children to raise, both born in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Maria and William Barnard Lee.

William Barnard Lee was my grandfather’s grandfather, and lived in various places in Ontario, which was known back then as either Upper Canada or Canada West. He owned a barber shop in Brantford, worked as a blacksmith in Artemesia Township, farmed there for a while, then moved to Collingwood where he ran another barber shop for many years. Barnard, as my family often refers to him, was known to have had a very bad temper, which may explain why he ended up being committed to a gaol (jail) for the mentally insane. Though he was deemed cured and his release was approved, his warden failed to release him, and Barnard died behind bars. To add insult to injury, the warden dug a pit on the prison grounds where he dumped the bodies of prisoners who had died, and threw lyme in the pits, decomposing the bodies. This thwarted the need to create death certificates, which explains why I could never find Barnard’s. Luckily, the local newspaper wrote a story on him, which explained it all.

David Moses Lee was Barnard’s son from his first marriage, born in Brantford in 1846, and moved to Buffalo, NY in the 1870s, where he worked as a blacksmith, and eventually as a male nurse. My grandfather, Edward David Lee, was born, lived his whole life, and died in Buffalo.

But the lack of a recent DNA sample prevents me from determining from which tribe from which I originated. I’m not willing to submit a new sample to any of the current genetic DNA companies, so for now, I don’t know.

How Much Things Cost

Living in a developing nation has unique benefits and challenges, and in most cases, it is amazing how far a little amount of money can go. I live on less than $2,000 USD/month, and live a very comfortable life. At this stage of my life, less is more, so I live in a cozy one-bedroom, modern apartment in a conveniently located middle-class neighborhood, with all of the modern conveniences I want. Every month I’m putting more money away into my savings, and have enough left over so I can help some of my friends who are suffering from the economic effects of Covid-19.

Monthly Expenses (in equivalent USD):

  • Rent: $335
  • Utilities (water and electric): $15
  • Wifi: $60
  • Transportation (I mostly ride my bike, though): $5
  • Medical/pharmacy: $30 (monthly vitamins, maybe a $10 doctor’s visit)
  • Savings: $600
  • Groceries: $200
  • Propane: $8
  • Dog food, Veterinary expenses: $75

TOTAL: $1328



Lots of ways to contact me:

I’d LOVE for you to call. But remember, I’m on East Africa Time (EAT), so I’m 10-11 hours ahead of the West coast, 7-8 hours ahead of the East, depending on the time of the year. Please keep this in mind if you want to call me. Both numbers go to the same phone, so it doesn’t matter which one you use.

eMail: lisa@malagasylisa.com

Postal Mail:
Lisa B. Lee
Lot 205AF-0272
Secteur 6, FKT Mangarivotra
Mahajanga, Madagascar

PayPal: sweetlisa@yahoo.com