A Year in Review: Arrival

Zebus on the beach

Zebus on the beach

I have been in Madagascar for a year. I have been “at site” since September. I have learned a lot and have had a few ups and downs. I am happy to report that I have mostly experienced ups. I decided to list some highlights that I have not written about.

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In September 2015:
 I arrived to Antalaha, a small city in the north east of Madagascar. Antalaha is my favorite place in Madagascar and the place that I have learned to call home. My month of service as an official Peace Corps volunteer was a blur. My installer took me around town and introduced me to all the important officials ranging from the head of police to the chief of the district (what that means, I am still not quite sure). New locks were put on my door, a curtain rod was installed to separate my kitchen side of my one-roomed house from my bed side of the house (I never even use the curtain) and then the moment that all peace corps volunteers  remember:  peace corps car pulled away and left me all alone.
Peace corps leaving me at site

Peace corps leaving me at site

The month was spent gathering courage to leave house, struggling to buy food at the market using French numbers (when I had only mastered Malagasy numbers– something they don’t use in the north) and reading Harry Potter. Trying to find comfort, I ended up reading all of the Harry Potter books in just a couple of weeks. Luckily I only had 2 weeks to burn because my school started early and I started teaching on September 15th. I teach at a private middle school and teach 4 different grades : 9eme (3rd grade), 6eme (6th), 5eme (7th) and 4eme (8th grade). I also teach two different adult classes during the week and tutor interested students on Saturday. So many lesson plans… So little time.
Just some goats hanging out in the middle of town

Just some goats hanging out in the middle of town

First impressions of my site: it’s on the ocean! There are goats and small green geckos everywhere! Why is going outside my house so intimidating? We have pizza!
Golden Dust Day Geckos live with me in my house!

Golden Dust Day Geckos live with me in my house!

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