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.