Since this doesn’t happen often, “this” referring to my will to write, I figured I would jump at the occasion and update you all on some fascinating little tidbits.
Back in the lovely month of April, I spent a week in Tana for various purposes; one of them being that I was able to say bye to six of my favorites from the stage above mine (Environment/Business 2011). It was a strange experience to say goodbye to them, watch their emotions of leaving evolve from excitement to small traces of fear, hear them talk about their flights and post-PC travels, but the strangest part of all was knowing that once this stage left the country, mine would be next. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday I landed on this island, my camera glued to my face, curious about everything around me – and yet other days it seems like PC has been one long mentally exhausting, physically taxing day that just hasn’t ended yet; like every time I look at my watch I expect an hour to have passed by (or a week) but it’s only been 30 seconds. I am beginning to experience all of those emotions that I observed in the others. One day I am ecstatically “google-ing” grad schools and the next I am having a panic attack about all the different phone plans available, the daunting task of apartment hunting, and the worst above them all: looking for a job. But this is not one of my interesting little tidbits – this is just a tidbit.
Interesting tidbit #1: Just a few weeks ago, my boyfriend, Alexander – whom I must introduce because after reading one of my blogs where I “name-dropped” him, he pointed out that he felt like a foot note in my life – came to live with me at my site after finishing up his PC service in April (he was one of the six), now officially a RPCV (returned peace corps volunteer) he has been relaxing at my site and occasionally giving a helping hand with my projects or at the CSB. Since he hadn’t been able to see the Bandro lemurs of Lac Alaotra the last time he visited, two weeks ago we walked over to Andreba (the town 3 km south of me) and met up with Ndrina, our guide. Ndrina is a friend, a community health volunteer, and he also happens to be the guide that took BBC out on their filming expedition when they visited 2 years ago! At 5:45 am we threw ourselves into a very simple canoe, and went off into the sunrise looking for the very small lemurs. Two hours later we headed back into town, satisfied from lemur hunting, but very hungry. We went to the market, popped into a little stand and grabbed some food before heading back into my town to meet the Directrice of the EPP, Madame Odile. We had plans to go to the quancaillerie (hardware store) and pick up more supplies for our project. With only a few more supplies to purchase and half of the holes dug, I am glad to see that this project is moving along rather smoothly.
Interesting tidbit #2: Last week at around 7 pm on a Wednesday, a very non-threatening intruder happened upon my house. Alexander had gone outside and noticed a chicken sitting on one of my plants, tucked away from the wind. It was a particularly cold evening so we figured it couldn’t be harmful to bring her inside and keep her warm for the night. We did not expect that she would drive us crazy after the novelty of having a “pet” in the house had warn off. I grabbed a huge flat bucket that I do laundry in, layered it with a bunch of clothes that I don’t wear anymore, and put a small bowl of rice/water in it. After twenty minutes she started chirping, jumped out of her prison, and started exploring my house. She found her favorite spot within minutes and snuggled into it for the night. Unfortunately, we were not so thrilled about it so after an hour or so I finally moved her bed into my “office” and closed the door. She was fast asleep in minutes and didn’t make a peep for the rest of the evening. The next day we put her outside and she spent half an hour just sleeping in front of my house. She came back in through the back door and spent the afternoon with us while we read. Later, when we were leaving for our hike up through the hills, I put her outside and when we came back she was no where to be found! Georgette, we miss you, come home.
Interesting tidbit #3: Jumping back a subject, I also wanted to inform you (drum roll please…..!) that the books from Books For Africa are ON THE WAY HERE!! Jessie worked her magic and the books are being shipped over as we speak. We won’t be able to pick them up in the capital and transfer them to our sites until at least August so it is definitely cutting it close (as I am expecting to leave some time in mid-August) but regardless I am thrilled to tell you all the great news. We definitely could not have done this without the support of those who donated and gave us well wishes so thank you, thank you, thank you.
In just a few weeks I’ll shower you with more interesting tidbits while I’m in Tana for my COS conference – the last conference I’ll ever have with PC and also very significant because it means that my last two months in country will be upon me… America get ready, I’m comin’ for ya.
pushing the canoe out to the water
Sunrise on the lake
Looking for the lemurs
Coffee at Ndrina’s post lake visit
Stopping by the EPP to meet with Madame Odile
Popping by the market in Ambatosoratra to pick up food
Georgette in her little bed
She found her spot…
View from the hill tops on our hike
Picnic on the hill
One of the holes for the WC at the EPP
Buying wood in Ambato for the project