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
house), and her school.  Then I joined her that evening to teaching one of her classes.  The following day I walked out to the road, there is no brusse station Kelilalina, and waited for a brusse to pass by to take me to Julissa’s site in Ampasimanjeva.  This took a while, about 2 ½ hours.  I finally got a brusse that was not full to stop, but they where going north to Mananjary instead of south to Manakara, the direction I need to go.  I hopped on anyways asking them to drop me off at the split, in Irondro.  Once there I was lucky enough to buy a very cheap seat in a private car to analavory, Briana’s site and my last stop on the main rode.  Here I reserved a spot on the brusse going to Ampasimanjeva, and then went with Briana to see her house.  When they realized they could not find enough passengers to fill the brusse they offered me a spot in the back of a pickup truck going that way.  I finally arrived at Julissa’s house, much earlier that evening than I expected.  The following days I toured her site and helped her make two pumpkin pies for the up coming Sudest Thanksgiving.  The making of the pies turned out to take far longer than we had expected.  Almost all Peace Corps Volunteers do not have ovens, looking at you Blair, so we have to get by with other means.  For example, with what is called a Peace Corps oven.  This is simply a big pot put over a coal stove, the bottom of the pot is filled with a few inches of sand and a can is put on the sand on top of which sits your pie/cookie/ext., the lid is put on and coals are put on the lid.  You must constantly change out the coals or you lose your heat.  So as you can imagine baking two pies took quite a long time. 

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