Ive been in Madagascar for a few weeks now and trying to sum up my experiences in a few short paragraphs will be a bit difficult. I know yall wont read more than a few paragraphs so I will try to keep it short, sweet and to the point. Overall, Madagascar is amazing and I am adjusting to life here relativly well. I have not recieved any mail from anyone so Im assuming life is getting along just fine without me in the states. However, if anyone feels the desire/need/inclination/ to send me a letter or something I will be more than happy. My address is already posted on the blog. LOL!
To begin, its FREEZING in Madagascar. I do realize that I am in the southern hemisphere and it is technically winter, but I definatly did not expect it to actually feel like winter. Since Madagascar is considered a part of Africa, I natually assumed it would be exceptionally hot no matter the "theoretical" season. In actuality, Mcar is not THAT cold. Its just that there is no heat. No heat any where, at any time. I thought I had gotten smart when I put my host moms small charcoal stove in my room to heat it. But, Peace Corps is not too fond of that idea. They are worried about CO2 emissions or something. Before, I would literally shiver in my room at night. So, until they figure out a better solution, I say it stays.
My second Peace Corps experience came in the task of washing clothes. Now, at home, all the effort required to wash clothes involved seperating the laudry and placing it into the machiene. This is clearly not the case in Mcar. I had a tub full of really muddy/dirty clothes that I filled with water. I started to scrub the clothes with my host mom and within about 15 mins of this chore, my back begins to kill me. My host mom sees (read hears) my discomfort and gets me a stool to sit on. This stool, however, was designed for the calcium and protein deprived Malagasy so it did not do too much to help this American girl. So, I continue to scrub as the sun sets and I was still no where near finishing. We have electricity, but in Mcar that does not mean much. My host mom still had to cook dinner, feed the animals and get the kids ready for bed. But, before she did all of this, she finished my washing. Needless to say, I was beyond embaressed. I did manage to hang them all, however. American lesson #1: When I get to my permanent site, I will need to hire a laundry lady. I wont be washing clothes by hand over a rock again. Sad, I know, but its true.
The Peace Corps is taking very good care of me and I have been instructed in the proper ways of bleaching my drinking water and fighting off malaria and other diseases found in this country. I have gotten something called Guardia, but some meds took care of it quick. No biggie. Hope everything is good with you all back in the developed world. Im actually kind of enjoying living about 100 years in the past. It has a charm to it. Please excuse any spelling/ grammar or any other kinds of mistakes you may find. I didnt have that much time to write this and the internet is rediculously slow.