March 2, 2012
Manahoana (ma-na-o-na) blog followers!
I don’t know when I will get to post this, but I figured I would write it now while my computer is fully charged. After several in-flight movies (the Descendants is pretty good, but not Oscar worthy, In Time with Justin Timberlake was rad, and the invention of lying with Ricky Gervais was alright), a lengthy nap, an overnight stay in Johannesburg, South Africa at a very nice hotel, another plane ride, and a two-hour van ride, we finally arrived at our training center in Mantasoa (man-ta-soo-a). And it actually kind of feels like America! A lot like summer camp, complete with a lot of pine trees haha. Not like my previous trip to Kenya. This part of Madagascar has a very Up North feel to it. Speaking of Michigan things, people in my group don’t know Euchre!! Such a shame. I may be doing some teaching of that, although my Malagasy will have to be really good to teach it to the locals, it is hard enough in English.
The training center is large compound on a lake complete with dorms, a dining hall, and small classrooms. This is the second night we have stayed here. Today (Day 2) we went through a welcome and a bunch of health information. We also had a language session. Sadly it was only an hour, so when I move in with my host family tomorrow I will pretty much only be able to tell them hello, thank you, and my name haha.
It has been raining a lot but that is to be expected this time of year. We did get a chance to enjoy the sun earlier today. The rainy season (summer) is on its way out and we are moving in to fall here, where it should dry up.
Like I said before, I move in with my host family tomorrow. Then training takes place in the village with 3-4 people in each class. This is really helpful when trying to learn a brand new language haha. I will stay with this family for 4 weeks until I move back into the training center. 6 weeks after that, barring any unforeseen circumstances, I will be sworn in as a volunteer!
I should know the region where I will be stationed around the 5th or 6th week of training. That will be useful considering there are 18 different dialects. Also, my attempting to learn French was not a total bust, as many of the signs are in French.
That’s all for now, I will post this as soon as I can. Hope you all are well!