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aiza ny kabone?

amber's in madagascar for 27 months

To clarify things: no, I do not work for the Department of Defense no, I am not a missionary. These are real questions asked to me today by tourists about the Peace Corps. This did however give me a brief window to very briefly explain what the Peace Corps is and does.

Two thoughts for today: the start of school and wearing contact lenses.

No, I am no longer on vacation as I have been asked a few times. I have been back at site now for a bit waiting for school to start. The national school calendar lists October 3rd as the first day back at school, and other private schools in my town have started back up. Some of the public elementary schools have as well. I am
very-very-very grateful for this because these few schools cover all of the kids that hang out at the compound and now it is quiet again. However, my school, the main high school for the area, has not gone back to school yet. This week apparently is an excellent week to start construction. The entire school break was not desirable. In order to accommodate a growing student population, the school district is expanding the amount of classrooms on our campus. This is a good thing. When I arrived at school on Thursday to begin what I thought was my first day of class, it looked like a bomb had gone off on one of the buildings, there were fires burning in the yard (to cook rice and prepare construction materials), the desks and other items from the building being expanded were stacked in the other useable buildings. One classroom had been converted into a hotel room; it has tents set up inside of it. It took about two hours of standing around with some of the other teachers that showed up to all agree that yes, we could not hold class. I have been told that this construction will be finished in about a week, so I should be starting class shortly.

It took me over a year to figure this out, but contact lenses are really weird. While sitting around the other day with some ladies, I was helping by rolling up silk threads into balls of yarn. At one point I commented that this was really difficult to do because the lighting was terrible and my eyes were not coping (to be clear, I was also untangling the thread, which is why it wasn’t simple). A woman responded that I should go get glasses. I responded that I was wearing glasses, but on my eye. She obviously thought I was messing with her. I responded to this by popping a contact out. The reaction was priceless; she just stared at me with her mouth open and didn’t know what to say. I called them vazaha glasses. Word got around that I was doing weird stuff with my eyeballs so I went back to my house, got the case and solution and demonstrated taking them out for the day and everyone just stared.

Ceteris paribus, this time next year I will be not in Madagascar. This is very weird.

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