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aiza ny kabone?

amber's in madagascar for 27 months

Mangoes!

Hello people, I have fallen off the communication wagon for a bit. Sorry about that. I think it has been two months since my last rambling on here. It has been an interesting (is that the right word?) few months. For those keeping count, I have less than a year in country. The exact count I don’t know, for that ask Brianna who has awesome countdown gadgets on her computer. I recently stopped by Ranomafana (Hot Water) National Park on my way to Tana for a training. For pictures, see the photo album (Jane I labeled the photos too!). It was an insane hike that took about 5 hours instead of the 2 we planned on. I have been to some other parks in country so far but this was my first rainforest. It was awesome, minus the leeches that I kept finding on my legs… I got to stay at this amazing house nearby that a volunteer (who has since finished service and is on her way home!) lived in for part of her service. It had the nicest bathroom I have seen in country thus far. No joke. And another volunteer came in to stay for a night from the coast and just happened to bring a sack of freshly caught shrimp for us to grill up for supper.

Scenery on RN7 Fianar to Tana. Rice.

My stage also just completed our Mid Service Training Conference in November. It was great because we got fed insanely awesome food (see pictures…), got to reconnect with other volunteers that we never get to see, and we learned some things too. My next training will be for my new job (I move to Fianarantsoa in about a week people!!) in January. Then, our CLOSE OF SERVICE conference in June. Time is going by really fast now! It is really insane to be on this side of the 2 years.

Car repair, streetside in Tana

School is going, well, it is going. My class schedule changed last week approximately 6 times, because teachers that haven’t been around for the past two months are now involved and don’t like their class schedules and mine has become the victim of their whims. However, I have one week left to deal with this so I am taking it as an opportunity to just laugh at the entire process. It is really entertaining to watch the teachers and students argue over class times and try and figure out my schedule/understand what I am saying/understand what they are saying.

On my English midterms back in October, I added two bonus questions because I thought my test may be too difficult (people did well though I was happy). Here are the two questions and the range of responses received:
1. Who is the president of the United States of America? – Andry Rajoelina (he is the Malagasy leader); David Cameron, Nicolas Sarkozy, Churchill, Wilson, Roosevelt (I gave them a sliver of credit for past US presidents), and Barac-obamah, Baracbama, etc and so forth. A number of students managed to get to Barack Obama.
2. What is the capital of the United States of America? – New York (#1 response by far), Afrique, France, Londres, Cameroon, Mexique, Wachyton, Etazonia, Amerique, Etas Unis
So after I gave back the exams I also gave them a small geography lesson and now their final will have these questions:
1. What nationality is Miss Amber?
2. What state is Amber from?
3. Where was Barack Obama born?
I can’t wait to get the exams back next week.

In other news it is SUMMER/RAINY SEASON. What does this mean you ask? It means it is hot. And although my pump water is brown now because the rain causes all sorts of lovely things to leak into our water supply I still feel better after rinsing off with a nice cold bucket of the pump water than not. On the positive side all kinds of fruits are coming into season now. I have already enjoyed at least three different kinds of mangoes, I’m buying litchis by the kilo and I just had a couple of passion fruit that a volunteer brought with him from the coast to Fianar. Delicious time. Also the rain puts me in a sleep coma sometimes. Right now the Fianar MEVA has passion fruit scattered around the house for no apparent reason. It is like an Easter egg hunt wherever you go.

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