Doing the Brusse Hop

            After leaving Tana I started to make my way back down towards the Sudest.  Not wanting to go all the way back to site just to turn around again a few days later to go back to Manakara for Thanksgiving, I decided to take my time and do some site visits along the way.  So leaving Tana with Blair, we made our way down to Fianar (Fianarantsoa).  Once there we tried to catch a brusse down to her site, but, it being in the evening, there were only the long distance night brusses left so we decided to stay the night at the Fianar meva and wait till the morning.  The following morning we caught a brusse to her site, Kelilalina, and she showed me around the town, her house (amazing

Where’s the rano mafana in Ranomafana?

            I took a vacation this week on my way to Tana/Mantasoa for IST (In Service Training) in Ranomafana.  Ranomafana is located in the rainforest about halfway between Manakara and Fianarantsoa.  I went there with two of my fellow Stage Sudesters and meet with two others from my Stage.  Once there, the five of us got a room at a travelers hostel and started our plans for the next few days.  It had started raining in Ranomafana shortly after we arrived and the forecast showed that it was only going to get worst as the week progressed; as it turned out, it only rained that day and the next and was nothing but sunshine after that.  So fearing that the rain was going to get worst we


            The weekend prior to Monday all of the volunteers from my Stage arrived in Tana as a consolidation point to be taken back to the PCTC for our IST (In Service Training).  Upon arriving at the PCTC on Monday evening we choose what room we wanted, most of us choosing the same rooms we had during PST, and moved our stuff in.  We came knowing we were going to have two weeks of amazing food, hot showers, real toilets, time with our friends, and a lot of classes; knowing that the first of these weeks would be spent with just the volunteers and in the second we would be joined by our counterparts from our sites.  As expected a group got together and planned events for each of the nights during the first week of IST and I think, at least in the end, every night turned out


            Today I got the chance to go to Ambohimanga.  Ambohimange is a UNESCO World Heritage Site about 30 minutes north of Tana and has been a cultural/historical site that I have wanted to visit since I found out I was coming to Madagascar.  The site itself is what is left of the fortified city atop one of the twelve sacred hills of Imerina.  The fortified palace area, which is the main tourist attraction, and most of the gates are still intact, though many of them are covered in dense vegetation. 
            Arriving by brusse we made our way up the road to the small modern town of Abohimanga

The First Exam

            Today I gave my first English exam to my students and ended my first trimester of teaching English in Vondrozo.  I should start this story on Wednesday and Thursday of last week though.  On those two days I gave a practice exam to my students so that they would know what would be on the test and how the test would look when they took it.  In this practice exam I used the exact directions and the same format of questions, although different question, they would see on the test.  When made the test twice as long as the review, 40 questions, but most of the answers were fill in the blanks
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