Turning Old in Madagascar

            Today I turned 31 in Madagascar.  This is my second birthday here in country and although I did not turn over a new decade in my life, like I did with the last one, it was no less well spent.  There was no party or large group of friends gathering to celebrate as there was last year, but there was a gathering of a few close friends.  Having been in Antananarivo for the National VAC (Volunteer Advisory Committee) meeting and hearing of the upcoming World Cup Qualifying game, that Friday, between Madagascar and Senegal, I decided to stick around and treat myself to an early birthday present and attend the game.  

VAC Nosy Varika

            It is that time of the year again; time for another VAC (Volunteer Advisory Committee). This was my second VAC to plan and was, out of the two, the hardest.  Since our VAC meeting had never been in the northern part of our region I decided to have the VAC in Nosy Varika, a small island in the Pangalanes Canal 100 km north of Mananjary.  What made it the hardest for me to plan was that it is in the north of the Sud Est, 370 km from my site, and there being no one still in country having ever been there.  The limited conversations over e-mail, Facebook, and phone calls that I was able to make gave me but little information on what to expect.  Planning for a more ‘chill’ VAC than normal; I reserved the hotel, a ferry to get us there, food for our first night, and had everyone meet in Mananjary the day before leaving to make sure that we would make the ferry. 
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