That Thing I Wrote Three Months Ago? Still Funny, Right?

Another blog entry! Aren’t you lucky?! As promised, I am in town again because our In-Service Training begins on Monday. We are all convening at the transit house in Tana before being shipped off to the Training Center in Mantasoa for a week. Directly following IST is a one week health training about malaria and mother and child health. More on that at a later date. None of us is really quite clear about what exactly this week-long IST training will entail, but I can’t say we particularly care either since we get to reunite with our fellow July 2011 volunteers for the first time in three months. It is going to be a hot mess of hugging, crying, back slapping, and general merriment. Good times.

So, when I first arrived in Madagascar I wrote almost every day in a journal that I brought with me from the States. But since I have been busier lately and I record the most important or amusing things in this blog, I have seriously slacked off in journaling. However, I was browsing through the past journal entries the other day and thought I would share some tidbits that never made it to this blog but are worth a chuckle.

• July 15, 2011 – “In the health packet provided by the Peace Corps there is a list of suggested stress relief activities. My favorites are: having your hair brushed, waxing your legs, sex, and juggling. I would really like to know who generated this list.”

• July 16, 2011 – “Everything is going well so far with my home-stay family. I am becoming accustomed to the lack of electricity and running water. There was one nasty surprise today however when I went outside to the “ladosy” (shower) and discovered that it has no door. I resorted to singing loudly and obnoxiously to ward people off.”

• July 17, 2011 – “I was reading the health packet again today and discovered that there is an entire section devoted to instructing volunteers on the treatment of a paper-cut. Is this really a public health threat that we should be concerned about?”

• July 19, 2011 – “It is now day four of not pooping.”

• July 22, 2011 – “I found out today that a famous singer in Madagascar is named Poopy. And it is pronounced just like you think it would be. No lie.” (This is particularly amusing in combination with the last bullet point)

• August 2, 2011 – “I have noticed that the ducks here are rather vocal in their dislike of me. Every time I pass by they hiss and try to peck my legs. I think they are plotting something.”

• August 4, 2011 – “During the security training today we learned that the word for “help!” is extremely close in pronunciation to the word for “peanut”. Therefore, we all had to practice shouting “help!” in Malagasy in the hopes that, if faced with a real emergency, we will not run around frantically screaming ‘PEANUT! PEANUT! PEEAAANUUUT!’”

• August 5, 2011 – “I had the most ridiculous dialogue with my host mom tonight after dinner. Every time I asked what the word for bee is in Malagasy she would respond with “tantely” which I happen to know means honey. So I would shake my head and say, “No, no…bees…BEES…you know? Buzzzzz?” while flapping my hands like bee wings quite ridiculously. After about ten solid minutes of this I finally realized that in Malagasy the word for bee and honey is the same. Go figure.”

• August 9, 2011 – “After three hours of church service today my butt was quite numb and I was more than ready to leave. That’s when the preacher brought out bags of fruits and vegetables and started an auction. In the church.”

• August 30, 2011 – “I visited with my host family today. When I asked where the baby duck was my host mom answered, “Oh, he is out swimming.” Looking back, I have no idea why I didn’t find this answer suspect. Later, I found out from Yu’s host family that the baby duck had died a week ago. Apparently my host family decided that I couldn’t handle the truth. It’s like I am five years old again. But I’m not gonna lie…I preferred thinking he was out swimming.”

• September 14, 2011 – “The health supervisor, Tovo, was giving real life examples of things we shouldn’t do at site. My favorite example was the incident where a volunteer dropped their keys down the kabone (outhouse) hole and sent a small child down to fetch them (yes, that actually happened). I will keep in mind that at site it isn’t a great idea to send a small child to dig around in feces for your lost belongings.”

• September 24, 2011 – “My commitment to the Peace Corps has now been solidified…I bought a pet.”

This is what happens when it rains at my site

I found these at a store in my town - clearly, I bought them

This is the Malagasy family I spend a lot of time with - Hanta, Tanteraka, and Ilaina

Lovely countryside


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. madalife
    Dec 08, 2011 @ 16:05:37

    I never thought the closeness of the words “voanjo” (peanut) and “vonjeo!”(help!). I’ve been fantasied myself mispronouncing the word “Yale” as “Hell” ( instead of saying ” I’m going to Yale”, “I’m going to Hell”.


  2. Sara Halligan
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 14:53:41

    Love how you recorded in your journal about not pooping. LOL!! Have you heard the famous Poopy sing? What a name, too funny. I can’t believe a volunteer would let a little kid dig in poop to find something they lost. That is just disturbing. There’s a lot of poopy encounters in this blog. LOL. I can see you flapping your arms saying bzzzzz. I bet your host mom was thinking, what a silly vazaha. Love the Obama flip flops. I have never seen any to it’s likeness around here. Keep up the blogs. We love reading them. They always make us smile and laugh and miss you so much everyday. ❤


  3. Janice Hughes
    Jan 01, 2012 @ 14:20:57

    Today is New Year’s Day. I’m thinking about you. I hope you made it through the seasonal holidays ok. I love your mom and am always happy to hear how you are doing.


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