Dahira

This post was written October 11 So, there was a party in my neighborhood last Saturday. I didn’t know what it was for, but I knew something was happening. My friend Kodotsia had already made me a salovana (a long dress that is tied at the chest and often worn on festive occasions) from a…

The RN6

The Route National 6 goes from Maevatanana in the Northwestern part of Madagascar all the way up to Diego Suarez, the port city that is the northern most tip of the country. The drive from Maevatanana to Diego can take up to two days, depending on how long you stop, if you’re driving at night (not always…

Moving in to Site: Adjustments

This post was written October 4 The lack of structure is both terrifying and liberating. I’m not used to blogging my hand (I wrote this and all the following posts in a big lined notebook), but this is how it’s going to be. When I signed up for Madagascar, it’s true that I had no…

On the Eve of Swearing-in as a Peace Corps Volunteer

This post was written September 7, 2017 It’s hard to believe that only three months ago I left Memphis with two suitcases almost as tall as me. I remember sobbing all the way through security (which wasn’t that long, because it’s Memphis) and waving goodbye to my dad…that was heartbreaking. Fast-forward to last month when…

Chapter One: The Beginning

This post was written on August 6, 2017 Where else can I begin? I wriggled myself free from the rusty leather seat of the tax-brouse and spilled out onto the paved asphalt road. I looked down at my feet, unaware of how swollen they’d become from twenty four hours in the van. The road from…

A New Story to Tell

Preface I don’t consider myself a great storyteller, but I want to be. Those who are wise and observant, nonjudgmental and painstakingly descriptive are the great writers with whom I am enraptured. I’ve never understood my impulse to write and paint pages with sound and letters, but, here it is. Often I feel the urge…

A Day in the Life in Montasoa

July 3, 2017 Blog Post #2 Each morning I wake up around 6 am; at this time, the sun creeps up over the mountains, but I can never see it, because my windows block out most of the sun. Instead, I’m awoken not by the familiar sound of my phone alarm, but by the zaza…

Pre-Service Training #1: Welcome to Mantasoa!

June 28th 2017. Blog post #1 for PST. Tonga Soa and Welcome! This marks the first of many posts about my new life…living and serving in Madagascar as a Peace Corps TEFL (English Language Education) Volunteer. This isn’t just a new job…it’s a whole new life. The best way I can explain what has been…

Packing for Peace Corps

When packing for Peace Corps,  you can only take: two suitcases, 23 kg (50 lb) each one carry-on one personal item Geez. Guess I’ll be leaving my library at home! A few months ago, I wrote a post touting the benefits of packing light. I’m a big believer in traveling light so that you aren’t weighed…