Getting off the plane in Tana
Dazed and confused
Being shuttled to the training site, we were given pringles and chocolate cookies. Yup, life was pretty sweet for a few last moments.
Driving through Antananarivo
Home, sweet temporary home. Manjakandriana.
My host mother, Julia.
The whole gang, before 4 of them were voted off the island. Or opted to leave.
Canoeing in disease-infested Lake Mantasoa. There's extra incentive not to capsize here.
An unfortunately dark picture of the Peace Corps training staff
We had smores to celebrate the end of training.
Peace Corps Italy? No, but the flag is close.
Former Country Director, Bill Bull.
Three of the language trainers. Eddy, who taught me the Betsileo dialect, is on the right.
Swearing-in ceremonies. Here is Xavier Louis, who insists (despite his name) is Malagasy.
Travis gave our speech. However, it was in his region's dialect which is 99% incomprehensible to the rest of the country.
I wish I knew what I said to make Erin make this face, because I would never stop saying it.
My first creation! Raisin bread! It was a day for rejoicing, for sure.
My fancy-shmancy school.
A roster of one of the four classes I teach.
3 or 4 per desk = 55 students per class.
The janitor/guardian of my schools, deep in thought.
My former English-teaching colleague (on the left), and a French teacher.
High school students wear a beige "blouse." Middle schoolers wear blue. Elementary school kids wear green.
My town! Hello town! (Beware the wild west shoot outs at high noon)
Check out the eyebrows on that kid. Yeesh. The second boy from the left is named Tina.
Alright, secret's out. My town is called Isorana. (e-SIR-ah-na)
My house! No, it's not a mud hut.
The silver medal winner for World's Fattest Baby 2007.
Gold medalist for "Youngest Child To Demand Adam's Things."
Mmmm banana bread.
Rice fields, rice fields, rice fields.
He is going to love this picture of himself.
Guy and I on the boat to Ile St. Marie.
Ile Ste. Marie, destination of a group vacation during Christmas break.
Ready for the panorama?
I had just got out of the water and ran into Creepy Santa. Excuse my hair.
Let's play "Spot the Jew!"
There he is!
Reading Moby Dick, at the Hotel Balleine. (This means "whale" in French).
This is where our taxi-brousse driver decided to let us off, instead of driving the next 100 kilometers like we paid him to.
Well doesn't that just whet your appetite. It's fried fish.
Crossing the collapsed bridge.
30 people in a space meant for... oh, say, 10?
Baseball game! (Students made welcome posters for us)
Dance party #1
First inning: 10-0, Malagasy.
Dance party #2
Game over! 21-4, Malagasy.
Making garlic bread at Erin's house.
On our way to Soatanana, Easter Sunday.
Madagascar's own Polyphonic Spree. Only weirder.
Meanwhile, back at Erin's site, a school parade.
Erin's lovely apartment.
... and school.
Field trip! Here we are at the paper-making factory.
Putting the flowers on the paper.
Making silk scarves.
Another taxi-brousse failure leads to doubling up on seats.
At Anja Park, just south of Ambalavao.
Holy Christ it's a ring-tailed lemur!
A chameleon in our midst.
It was around this point that Erin and I decided to shirk our "chaperone" duties, commandeer one of the tour guides, and try to kidnap a lemur.
I was so close!
My Stephen Colbert face.
A carved wooden door of the area of the city we were standing. If you look closely, you can see me in the carving looking at the door ad infinitum.
Fianarantsoa from above.
"Antranobiriky" means "Place of the brick house(s)."
Sing! "I've been workin' on the diiiiirt path. Alllll the livelong day!"
A big ol' church.
End of the field trip. Hooray!
At our mid-service conference, May 08.
In which I proudly sport my Autocrat t-shirt, makers of coffee milk syrup.
Erin can make pizza sauce. Haddy can make dough. It's-a nice.
Those to whom I refer as "those idiot kids."
View from my house as the sun is setting.
Bema, the only student in town who cares to learn English. Here he is looking up a word in the dictionary.
I could take a shower in the bottle of water. (If I could only fit)
"Da Mamy Ny Tanindrazako" = My fatherland is sweet.
Here's where I turn into a gourmet baker.
My shower hut.
Final exam day.
My middle school
Kesia, the girl in the middle, might have ADHD. This is my favorite thing about her.
Dance party #3
Hary never stops waving at me, unless it's to give me a creepy look and scream "HA HA" in an old man voice. Video of this upon request.
Would you like ovy endasina with that?
Taxi brousses, the 8th wonder of the world.
The start of America week.
The Peace Corps director, US Ambassador, and friends visit my school.
Bema, addressing the Ambassador.
The source of our electricity.
A hand-washing contraption.