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
to be a success. 
The first night, Tuesday, was a toga dance party in the Tranobe.  We were all given sheets to wear as togas and it worked out great for everyone but me.  My sheet either shrunk or I was given a babies sheet because it would not wrap around me, so I did what had to be done and wore it as a gladiator’s diaper.  Wednesday was a casino themed game night with jazz music, cards, and board games.  I played Settlers of Catan.  Thursday was an award ceremony.  We all came together and Deane presented everyone with an award.  The awards themselves were all sponges that had on each side written something different; like ED ’14, Puppy Stage (every stage has a name and this is what was given to us, partly because the PCTC dogs had puppies while we were there and partly because we loved each other so much), and what our award was for.  My award was for “Most likely to use this award to wash his dishes.”  Friday was the talent show, which was somewhat just thrown together.  Some of the acts were good and some were…well those that were there know.  But following the talent show we made a bon fire outside on the volleyball court and kicked off my birthday celebrations.  Saturday was my birthday!!! That was the event for that day, me turning 30 in Madagascar.  What a great birthday it was too.  The highlights of my night were at dinner time.  Here I have to give a huge thank you to Lindsey and Bibbit for making me a delicious duck and sausage gumbo for dinner and Julissa for making me a delicious malva pudding (South African cake) for dessert.  It was all amazing!!!  You are the greatest!! The last night of the week, Sunday, was a slumber party movie night.  We set up the projector in the Tranobe, carried in the couches, made a fire in both of the fireplaces, and arranged the bench cushions on the floor to lie on.  We first watched Forrest Gump followed by Jurassic Park.  During the movies we made smores in one fire and popcorn in the other. 
The following morning our counterparts from our sites showed up to start their training with us.  My counterpart was Marolahy; my friend at site, the math teacher at the Lycee, and the Proviseur of one of the private schools.  During the second week we would have most of our training with our counterparts.  In the evening after dinner not much was done.  We hung out; some played guitar and sang, and some watched movies. The last night of IST, Saturday, was supposed to be a karaoke night but it very quickly just turned into a dance party.  Almost all of the counterparts were here, as well as a few of the volunteers.  The others were out on the volleyball court with another bon fire.  The following day, Sunday, we all packed up and left the PCTC for Tana.  In Tana that night I finally had Indian food for the first time in a long time and it was delicious.  
(Sorry there are no pics of the events in the first week)


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