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.  

            The game was an awesome experience.  The stadium sits at the bottom of the hill on which sits both the Rova (royal palace) and Tana’s version of the Hollywood sign.  Madagascar went into the game the underdogs and we all mostly expected them to lose, but it was the chance to see them play that was my gift.  At halftime though it looked as if we would all be wrong; Madagascar went into the second half leading 1-0 and scored again soon after the start.  But the lead would not last for long.  Senegal rallied in the end and put up two goals of their own to tie the game, 2-2.  The day after the game I left for Farafangana (my banking town) to meet a few friends to celebrate my birthday.  Arriving around noon on my birthday we all went out to lunch and then made our way to Tam-Tam’s a beachside bar to waist away the rest of the day listening to music and karaoke.  

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