Quick, quick update. I have now lived in Madagascar for a month. On one hand, it seems like I’ve just arrived, but on the other, it feels like a century. I have been living in a tiny village called Anjozoro, which is about 2 hours outside of the capital, Antananarivo. My host family has been wonderful, but I’m very ready to move back to the Peace Corps training center in Mantasoa (which is very close). My Malagasy is progressing, but I have recently switched over to a dialect, Sakalava, which is basically starting back from scratch. Very frustrating, but I have 4 weeks to get my language skills back on track. Luckily, Sakalava incorporates a lot of French, so when in doubt, use French?
Training lasts until very early May, at which point I move to my permanent site. I’ll be living in Nosiharana, which is a decently-sized town. I’ll be living very close to Sambava (30 minutes travel time) which is a small, tourist city on the beach. This means, …amenities! I’ve been told by current volunteers that I can get anything I need in Sambava. I’ll be working with Cooperative SAVA, which is a farming coop, that is focusing on expanding the network of Cacao farmers in NE Madagascar. The coop also works with vanilla, clove, and coffee farmers. I’ve also been told that I will be working on branding some fair trade vanilla! I’m very excited with my job placement, and look very forward to seeing my house, which is supposed to be very large, with a veranda that overlooks a river that runs through Nosiharana.
I hope to get some pictures soon. The internet situation in Madagascar is less than adequate, not to mention when I need to upload pictures… I would love some letters, so please reference my contact page for my address. I’ll be updating the address in the next couple of weeks with my new address up north. I promise to write back! The mail takes about two weeks to get from place to place.
I miss everybody very much, but want you to know that I am very happy here. I hope to hear from some of you!