First post from Madagascar

Hello everyone!
I am so excited to be writing you! So much has happened in the last 3 weeks, and I have a line of PCVs behind me who want to use the net, but I’ll do my best to sum up here. I planned out what I was going to write last night, but today I had the most amazing experience at an orphanage in the capital city, Tana. The kids were awesome, and the environment was so positive and loving. They are practicing some great sustainable activities there. It made me think about how difficult it is to get people in the US to even save a little water by flushing less often. The people at this orphanage have no choice but to make the most of absolutely every resource they have. These kids have nowhere else to go, and money is extremely limited. Check out their website http://www.akanyavoko.com/, then watch my video of the great dance the girls performed https://youtu.be/uRkT_4vse9Q

So anyway, the first week I was in total awe of everything…the beautiful vistas, the endless valleys of rice, and even my walk to school. The newness has worn off a bit, and I have been missing you all, but I am still having a great time.

And I am super stoked to go to my site in 7 weeks, which will be on the SW coast near Toliara. I will be working with an NGO called Reef Doctor. They have a website, but you should check it at your own risk because you will be paralyzed with envy. I will also be helping a group of women open a boutique near the hotels to sell their handicrafts.

My host family is awesome. They are a young couple about my age, with a 1yr girl named Mirantsoa. I swear, she is the happiest baby ever! Last week I went to church with them, and afterwards we went to a family reunion (to my surprise). This was intense for only having 2 weeks worth of language lessons in Malagasy. Fortunately a few of them spoke French, so I was able to get by. A bunch of the highschoolers were learning English, and of course they wanted to practice it, so I literally said every sentence once in French, again in Malagasy, and a third time in English. By the end of the day, I thought my head was going to explode. I slept very well that night.

I am learning so much everyday. Last week I learned how to plant rice and kill a chicken. That’s just how REAL it gets in the PC, yo!!!
I should also mention that the other trainees in my stage rock. I am truly blessed to be a part of this group. But I better go or they will trample me!

Peace,
Mo
ps. i am typing this on a weird keyboard…meaning that the letters are not where they should be. be forgiving please
pps. i go to bed at 8pm. there’s no electricity, and you would be amazed at how hard it is to stay awake by yourself in the dark. letters and postcards are coming, i promise.

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