Friday, January 28, 2011

COS: A Journey Into Middle Earth- I must cast the ring into the fires of Mordor to make it end... PART 2!

Ok, now things that I WILL miss about living in Madagascar as a Peace Corps volunteer...

1.) This country is so beautiful, I can't even stand it. I don't think it's physically possible to fit more kinds of beautiful landscapes into one country: white sand beaches with crystal clear water, mountains, waterfalls, rain forests, spiny deserts, tsingys, baobabs, rice paddy excitement, etc. While a lot of the land is now scorched to uselessness, there is still a huge portion of the country that is breath taking.


Emerald Sea

Red Tsingy

2.) Tropical fruit. I mean, we have tropical fruit in America... but here it's not sent over oceans and continents to get to us at our constant beck and call and out of season. Here it is as it is supposed to be. You're not supposed to have mangoes all year. You're supposed to have them when they're in season, and you're supposed to get them yourself by throwing rocks up into the mango tree. That's how nature intended it... PINEAPPLES.

3.) Voanjobory.

Enough said.

4.) My wonderful students, both at Lycee Mixte Ambanja and in the English Department at the University of Antsiranana. They are the future leaders of this wonderful place, and I truly enjoyed my time attempting to expand their minds and amuse them. Not to mention the wonderful staff in the English Department and the principal at the Lycee Ambanja.

5.) The pace of life. Growing up in America, I'm used to working nonstop, always trying to make money (even if for things I don't actually need), taking as many classes as possible, working as many hours as possible, spending as many hours a day as possible striving forward. Is that really good? I don't think so. The pace of life here is more easy going... sometimes it's a little TOO easy going, but there's never a reason to stress out - if you can't do it today, you can do it tomorrow, and that's ok. Life should be fun sometimes; we should take more time to smell the proverbial roses (though I'd rather take more time to smell PINEAPPLES). (I wish I had a picture of someone laying in a hammock for this...)

6.) My wonderful friends, both fellow PCVs and Malagasy. They've made my life here amazing, fun, and interesting. They've listened to me complain and helped me when in need. I've become friends with many different kinds of people (especially Americans) that I never would have thought I could have been friends with before Peace Corps. Though I suppose I won't "miss" my friends, as we will remain friends, right? Right?! I mean, half of my friends from Peace Corps I haven't seen since evacuation... let's work on some reunion tours. I love you guys!

7.) The fantastic Peace Corps Madagascar medical team. Dr. A, Tahina, Dr. Chad, Tina, and other interns. While I was never gravely ill and hardly ever had to contact the doctors for assistance, every time I have interacted with the medical team it has been stress-free and productive. They are always organized and knowledgeable. They have provided the best medical care I will ever likely receive.

... and about a thousand other things...

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