New School Year

            October 5th signifies the official beginning, although not the real start, of the new school year here in Madagascar and the beginning of my last year of teaching (maybe) here as well.  I have gone into this new year looking forward to the year ahead.  The new year brings in a new set of students and a fresh start; a new beginning.  Not that the first year had a bad start; it was just a bit rocky.  I went into it with little idea of the school culture into which I was entering, the scheduling (or the lack of abiding by it), or real experience in a Malagasy classroom.  Any one of these alone would create a learning curve for any teacher, but all of them together are a far greater challenge.  It is not like Peace Corps did not try to prepare us for all of these because they did; at least to some extent.  They told us about the school culture during training, but, like all of you following my blog can most likely attest to, there is only so much one can extrapolate from the words and stories of another without seeing it


            MSC (Mid-Service Conference) marks the halfway point of my service here in Madagascar.  It is more of a training than a conference but it is one of three times that all of the volunteers from my stage come together.  It is a great opportunity for all of us to catch up on what is new in everyone’s life and to learn what has been happening at their sites.  Not to mention that it is a time for us to enjoy the PCTC (Peace Corps Training Center) and all of the amazing foods that we get to eat.  It is also during this time that we get our mid-service physical and teeth cleaning. 

Nosy Be

            Nosy Be, literally meaning ‘big island,’ is an island off the northwest coast of Madagascar known for it nice beaches, touristy feel, and the great number of tourist (mostly French) that frequent there.  Having heard descriptions of Nosy Be given by other Volunteers, I did not entirely want to go and had all but checked it off the list of places I was going to visit.  Though things being as they are, I had to cancel my own travel plans, due to time constraints, and decided to join a group of friends that were going to Nosy Be on their way back to Tana.  In the end, the trip was very nice and I really
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