Manasa Lamba

            Today was the first time I was able to do laundry in 2 ½ weeks.  We were on Tech Trip for a week and then when we got back it started raining and it has been raining ever since.  Today was the first day that it has not rained since then.  This is a really long time not to wash clothes seeing that I did not bring that many clothes to this country.  Dirty has taken on a very different definition here Madagascar.  Most things get worn multiple times before they are considered ‘dirty’ and ‘dirty’ really only means that they are visibly dirty and/or fail the smell test.  You also can not just wash your clothes when ever you want to.  Here in Madagascar we have to wash our clothes by hand.  This


            Today started our practicum for our language teacher training.  There will be two and half weeks of practicum in which we will each get the opportunity to teach at least ten hours.  The Peace Corps trainers have assigned us all topics from the curriculum that we will lesson plan for and teach.  We will all get to teach many of the different school levels so that we have experience in each.  On our teaching days, if we are not teaching we observe the other students to both get ideas and give feedback to them. 

Mefloquine Took a Turn for the Worst

            Madagascar is a malaria country so Peace Corps trainees/volunteers have to take malaria prophylaxis to keep from getting malaria.  On the day that we got here Peace Corps started us all on Doxycycline, which has to be taken everyday.  After two weeks of taking this and forgetting on multiple occasions I got the chance and decided to switch to Mefloquine, which only has to be taken once a week.  This is so much easier to remember and it also gives you really vivid dreams for a few nights which is pretty cool.  So I have been taking Mefloquine for the past few weeks and it has been well till last night.  Last night it took a turn for the worst. My vivid dream turned into a nightmare

Tech Trip!

            This full week was the Tech Trip for all of the Trainees.  I am still trying to decide how to state and how much of the week should be stated in this blog, but I will use this section to lay out the foundation of what Tech Trip is.  Tech Trip ultimately is a chance for the trainees to visit and observe schools and to talk to and ask questions of the students and teachers.  It is also a chance for us to explore and practice some of the things that we had been learning in our language classes.  This also would be the first time that we were outside of the Mantasoa area since we have arrived.  We have been unable to leave the area because, until now, we had not received our official documents from the

1st Malagasy wedding!


Fourth of July!!

“I’m Leaving on a Jet Plane, Don’t Know When I’ll be Back Again”

So I left today for Madagascar.  Well it won’t actually be “today” when I am finally able to post this so that you can read it.  But on Tuesday, June 10, at 2:30 am I left the Hampton Hotel in Downtown Philadelphia for what would be no less than a tiny, but long, adventure to get to Madagascar.  Leaving the hotel at 2:30 am with no sleep the night before would begin the longest session of travel, including the longest airplane flight, which I have yet accomplished and ever want to do again.  We all loaded into a greyhound bus outside the hotel and began on our way to JFK airport where we were to catch our flight to Johannesburg, South Africa, at 11:15.  Knowing it was just shy of a nine hour

I Have Internet!!!

So since my last post I have not had access to internet till now and will probably not have it again for another month.  So below are the all of the blogs that I have written since I flew out from Philly on my way to Madagascar.  I apologize in advance for any grammatical or spelling errors, any places where it seems to jump from one topic to the next, or any places where it is just point to point with no explanation in the blog.  All of these blogs were written at different times during the day, most often while exhausted at night, and have not been proof read.  Enjoy!


            So today everyone was put into new language classes and we started our dialect training.  There are 18 official tribes in Madagascar, each with their own dialect of Malagasy.  Up to this point all of the trainees have been learning Standard Malagasy, which is the official language and is understood throughout the island, and some of the Highland trainees are continuing to learn it since that is what is spoken there.  As I mentioned in a previous post, my site is in the Sudest. The Sudest has three different dialects, mine being Antefasy, but they are so similar to each other that all of the trainees in the Sudest are learning together.  The dialect so far seems fairly easy with just some of the

Had My LPI Today…

            So today I had my first LPI, which is our test to see how we are doing with our Malagasy language training.  We had one today, mid-training, then we will have another one at the end of training, which will determine if we get to go to site or not.  This LPI is to determine where we are with our training and what aspects we need help with.  To pass this test we had to have Novice High or higher, which basically means that you are able to understand question words and put together simple sentences.  In the days prior to the test I did not fell very confident with my language ability and was dreading this day.  We did though, the two days prior to the test, have mock LPI test with our

Site Announcement!!!

Today is the day that everyone has been waiting for since we found out we were going to be serving in Madagascar.  It is the day we found out where our sites were going to be for the next two years.  Before getting into the site placement announcement I should first give a little background into the process.  Madagascar is one of the only Peace Corps countries that allow the trainees a say into where their site will be.  Whether there is any weight to what the trainees say is questionable and it is relative to each individual case.  Peace Corps takes into count what the Medical officers, placement director, and language trainers have to say and then look at the trainees preferences.  What is certain
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