My Home

Here is a video of my house in Vondrozo.  Enjoy!!!

Playing with Lemurs (Andasibe)

            Having a few days to spend before my national VAC (Volunteer Advisory Committee) meeting I decided to go visit Andasibe, a small town to the east of Tana that is the home of the Indri, the largest lemur in Madagascar.  So leaving shortly after lunch on Monday I broussed from Tana to Andasibe and then walked the one kilometer to the hotel I would be staying in.  The town itself, like many small Malagasy towns, does not have much to offer but also does not have that touristy feel like you would expect with so many tourist coming through it.  The town is surrounded by rainforest that is made up of the national forest and a few smaller NGO protectorates.  It was on the edge of the national forest that my hotel was

They Call Me ‘The Mpanjaka’

            This weekend was my third VAC (Volunteer Advisory Committee) meeting in country, but my very first to fully plan and lead as my regions new VAC leader.  This was also the first VAC for our new Health Volunteers that had just recently installed in their sites.  We also had a special guest in attendance, Brian, the first volunteer in my town, Vondrozo, who had returned to Madagascar to do research for his Ph.D.  It was great to have him there to see that all the Sud Est traditions were still being upheld.  I scheduled this VAC to coincide with the 4th of July so that we could all be together for both occasions.  Overall the weekend was a great success, though everything did not work out the way I had planned. 

The Brain

            What follows is the story of ‘The Brain’ (a rat) and our endless battle for control of my house.  It was written one night while in a stupor of sleeplessness, sickness, and delirium of medicine.  I read it a few days later and got a laugh out of it, so I thought I would share it with you. 
            This story begins about six months ago when I returned to my house after Christmas.  Upon returning to Vondrozo I found that three rats had taken up occupation of my house and were living in a little hole under my gas tank.  This was first realized on the first night back when the rats began to get in a fight with each other in their new home.  This waking me up, I got out of bed with the intent 

Everything Seems Normal

            I have become accustomed to all the quirks and differences in the life and culture here in Madagascar.  Not only have I become accustomed but I have adopted many of them myself.  And it seems everything is normal to me now.  I did not realize this till I was informed of it by a friend.  We were in a brusse on our way to Tana when we crossed a river and there were a few people on the river banks bathing.  She asked if I said seen them and when I answered that I had, but in a very nonchalant manner (a mannerism that has become indicative of my personality I have been told) she responded, astonished, ‘How does that not shock you?’  I did not have an answer for this and I am not

A Day in My Shoes

             What follows is an excerpt from my journal, with a few amendments where needed, about a normal day in my life.  It should be known before reading that almost everyday is different in one way or another, but this gives a fairly good example of the happenings of them; at least as pertains to days I teach.  Even these can change if there is an event like an assembly (Monday mornings) or a meeting.  There are days I am constantly busy with work in both primary and secondary projects and days that I spend with only my hobbies; days I have company all day, others that I am the company of
others, and even some where I see not another soul all day; days of work, play, and/or rest.  Majotoa! (Enjoy!)

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