I am finally at my site where I will spend the next two years serving as a volunteer. Life is still pretty bizarre but I’m getting more used to all of the strange differences.
My house is exactly what I imagined when I first envisioned serving in the Peace Corps – a quaint little wooden house with no electricity or running water. It’s surrounded by trees (mostly coconut) and plants, which is surprising since most of Ambovombe is covered with sand and isn’t very lush. Each day I hike through the cactus-lined road filled with sand to get to the main road. I feel privileged to have a little oasis in the middle of such a dry climate. I also have wonderful neighbors who have been really helpful and great company for me.
Someone sent a memo to all of the critters (for lack of a better term) that I was an animal whisperer. I have at least one, if not more, rats (or mice – not sure at this point) living in my roof whom I’ve threatened several times if they decide to make themselves shown. I’m quickly making friends with the neighbor’s cat who can hopefully help me with the uninvited company. I also have a contract with the many spiders who hang out that they are welcome to stay only on the basis that they come out only at night to feast on the other unwanted company and go back home before I get up in the morning. The second morning here I went out to my kabone and after popping a squat realized there was a small snake staring back at me while I peed. And lastly, on a much less threatening note, there are lots of cute green lizards that hang out around my roof.
A few good things…
· I drank coconut water with the girls next door the other day and realized how all of the little moments will make this experience worthwhile. It can be daunting to think about the big picture as a whole and it’s much easier to try and focus on the enjoyable small moments.
· Another good moment – I had donuts my first morning here! While they were Malagasy style instead of American, they had glaze, which rocked my world.
· Other good food finds include a bread similar to Hawaiian bread in the states – oober yummy, homemade peanut butter (1 kilo for the equivalent of $3 USD) and delicious homemade yogurt.
- A few days before I arrived here the goat next door gave birth and we have an adorable baby goat running around.
· Yesterday I saw geese bathing in a cuvette, which is a giant plastic tub we use to wash clothes. It seems so simple but it was funny to watch at the time.
· I’ve had the opportunity to make several contacts thus far for work, which is an encouraging start after only being a site for a few days. My job description is still quite vague but essentially I am working with an association that assists artisans in the area and also serves as an information resource for locals with a cyber café and small library filled with tech specific books.
That’s all for now! I’ll post pictures of my house once I finish getting settled in. I have, however, already hung my hammock! J