Arabaina! Tratra ny Taona

Happy New Year! We party hard in the Avaratra. New Year’s Day is the biggest day of the year. People started asking me what my New Year’s Day plans were in October. Kind of like when my Aunt Annie asks for Christmas lists before Halloween 🙂 I spent my first New Year’s in Madagascar with…

The World Map Project

The idea is “do something to make the world more beautiful.” My childhood manifesto still beats in my heart. I tend to take myself way too seriously, but sometimes life really is this incredible. We painted a world map on the outside wall of the 6eme classroom. It’s the wall that is most visible from…

Porch Stories

The days are getting longer, and hotter, here in the Avaratra. By 7 am, I am already sweating if I’m out in the sun. Fortunately, there is a brilliant, man-made structure that combats heat, invites company, and calms my soul: the porch. I am blessed with a cement floor that extends about three feet past…

Breathe In

Originally posted on recklesslyfreckling:
This story is written for the prompt ‘regional success story’, sent out by Peace Corps Madagascar. — If you were to line up the Peace Corps volunteers of the north, what would you see? The obvious at first: some tall, some short. Mexican American, Indian American, Dutch American, freckled. Cheesy smiles,…

Dahira

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 beautiful red and white pattern. Florosia had…

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 to Site: Adjustments

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 idea what I was in for….

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

Where else can I begin? I wriggled myself free from the rusty leather seat of the tax-brousse 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 Tana to Ambilobe is paved, which is an…