Everything is, well, teal

 

….. but my favorite color purple

I haven’t updated in a while, and in a way don’t find it necessary due to my new site in Moramanga being so different than village life in Nosiarina.  More on this later, but I thought I’d leave a list of new things:

1) I let a malagasy mpanety (barber?) shave the side of my head in Ambato

2) I got Giardia 24 hours before I had to take the GREs, which is tomorrow morning (I’m also applying to grad school FROM Madagascar which is a headache on its own…)

3) It’s mango season, that’s a thing that happens every year, like, right about now

4) It’s fall THERE and spring HERE

5) I’m vegan, not for animal rights though, I’d still kill a rabbit with a big dull knife anyday

6) New beer on the island: Libertalia…. something I might even drink in America

7) V-Nasty is still my enigmatic role model

8) I’m worried that my friends will be afraid of me when I come home

9) Sundai visits in a little over a month! Mobbin’ the red island

10) There are too many vazaha (white people) in my town these days, tourist season needs to end. It’s messing with my sanity

 

Oh yea, and Madagascar is still amazing.  I’ve met some of the most amazing people , and seen the “real” 7 wonders of the world on this island.  But I miss the groves and vineyards, I’m a daughter of California, and I’ll be back in April.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

enough thunder

more madabeats by yours tru.ly

low shoulder

I’m currently in the process of moving sites.  I’ll be leaving the SAVA region for Moramanga, a large town 115km from Antananarivo.  Main mode of transportation? Pousse pousse.

Heading back north to pack up my house next week. Stay tuned.

mail

I have a new address. Please refer to my contact page. Explanation to follow…

my misunderstood mussel

So now that I’m feeling very integrated in my community, I have to admit that I am in no way near ready to come home. I’m worried that I’ve picked up too many gasy habits that would inhibit me from being a productive member of society in the United States. For example, I absolutely cannot look people in the eye when I talk to them. This I find to be a huge problem.

I went on a small Malagasy vacation with a friend of mine to Vohemar, the furthest north city in my region. I stayed with a Malagasy family, who I absolutely fell in love with, for the weekend. They taught be how to cook proper Malagasy food: Crab Farςe (steamed crab with garlic-ginger sauce), bananas beignet, soaba (tara and coconut milk “soup”/mash), gasy peanut butter, and ravi toto (crushed cassava leaves in coconut milk). The highlight of the trip, however, was waking up to the cutest 13 year old boy cocobrussing the house to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” Flash mob Stockholm 2009 anyone?

In other news, I’m sprouting. Soy beans, kidney beans, raw peanuts, you name it. The gasys are really confused, and tell me that I smell like fermenting beans. Yes, this may be true, but my house is currently covered in dishes of fermenting crap. I hope to have a sprouting workshop in my community within the next few months. First, I have to convince people that sprouts are edible. I think I’ll make Thai coconut-lime soup and top it with sprouts for my little gasy friends.

March 1st marks my one year anniversary in Madagascar. I cannot believe it’s already been a year. My role as a Peace Corps volunteer is still unclear, but I’ve been working my ass off on this chicken cooperative business. Speaking of, construction begins next week. There are piles of wood in my yard ready to become the future home of a hundred chickens.

The ongoing soundtrack that is my life in Madagascar has recently included the following:

  • DJ Krush & Toshinori Kondo everything (Ki-Oku will change your life)
  • The Official – J Dilla
  • Polar Opposite – Her Space Holiday
  • Lock in the Lion – Airhead & James Blake
  • Quick Canal – Atlas Sound
  • A Cure – Blonde Redhead
  • Discotraxx – Ladytron
  • The Seed 2.0 – The Roots
  • Slow – Twin Shadow
  • When Things Explode – Unkle
  • The Black Angel’s Death Song – Velvet Underground
  • Fleetwood Crack – White Williams
  • Ave, Lucifer – Os Mutantes
  • Kookaburra – John Vanderslice

far nearer

After a wonderful trip to the first world, I’m now back in Mcar.  Spain was wonderful, to be expected, and full of surprises (talking to possibly the only Malagasy person in Madrid in her home dialect of Sakalava, finding a random Malagasy flag in the middle of Barcelona, etc.). Rioja was delicious (MUGA!), Guggenheim in Bilbao was incredible, Madrid’s markets were amazing, and I can now die satisfied after seeing all the Gaudi in Barcelona.  I was worried about getting back to my life in Madagascar, but the adjustment has been just fine.  I’m back to eating rice, gossiping about who’s fattest in my village, and farming peanuts.  Good news, while I was gone, my entire chicken cooperative project was funded! I didn’t even have time to put the link on my blog, or send in my article to my hometown newspaper.  I want to thank all of those who contributed.  It is greatly appreciated, and I’ll be starting the project as soon as the money comes through from Washington.  Photo updates to follow.

 

I had a couple of days in Antananarivo before and after Spain, which was a vacation on it’s own.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I love Tana. It’s the big African city you always dream about, and it never disappoints.  I flew back to Sambava on the 1st, and was picked up at the airport by my counterpart.  We drove directly to my village where I had a huge Bon Annee lunch with my counterpart’s family (including his French vazaha uncle), followed by my women’s group disco.  My yard looked amazing when I got back. Somebody mikapa-ed my yard, and trimmed my living fence.  I now have real light bulbs in my house, as well as my ladosy! Since my electricity doesn’t come on until 7pm, I’ve usually already taken my ladosy, but it’s nice to know that I have an option to take a shower in the dark.  I don’t know if I’ve already mentioned lasira-ing my floors (hot wax mixed with petrol, then coco-brussed with an old coconut shell), but it’s my favorite thing in the world, and will probably bring it back with me to the states.  Yea, your house smells like gasoline for a good 5 hours, but your floors look so nice (that’s for you Leslie Peck). It took almost a week for me to recover from traveling, and I slept a lot.  Luckily, nothing happens in Madagascar the week following New Years, so working was not as much of a priority.

 

I’m in Sambava for the weekend because two of our beloved SAVA volunteers are finished with service, and we had to send them off properly.  The story is actually a good one, but possibly not appropriate to put in a blog. Let’s just say, the reason I had to stay another night in Sambava was for recovery purposes only.

ugh, just spent an hour uploading another podcast to encounter another copyright violation on my part…. I’ll try to get that fixed and up on my blog soon.

klopjob

Barcelona, Spain – December 2011