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
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