March 16, 2012
So now that I have my laptop at homestay with me I will likely be writing much more often. However, I realize that these will all get posted at the same time, but I like to keep the idea and feel that I am writing to you as things happen.
This post will be things I have learned in the last 2 weeks:
· Flea bites suck. I have 37 of them, and I am not the winner in quantity…
· You can get awesome cheap clothing at second hand “fripperies.” I haven’t been yet but we have a current PCV training us and she has the best clothing, all purchased here.
· You can get a ton of fresh produce for cheap, which is good because no one has refrigerators
· You have to drink the coke at the store when you buy it or you have to pay more (a deposit) that you get back when you return the bottle. It also costs more for a cold one.
· Cell phone carriers try and trick you. A lot.
· Note for future vols in Mada: the language book they give you is your BEST FRIEND. I just now started going through it because we don’t really in class. It is very clear and well organized, and has great cultural and safety tips. They give you a ton of material but this one really is important to go through.
· People in Mada are very indirect when they talk about things, except physical appearance. They readily point out flaws and physical feature differences. Also fat is a good thing because you are healthy and wealthy, so people will call you fat, even if you are not.
· You can get a lot done before noon when you get up at 5:30.
· Oranges in Mada are not orange they are green. Good thing to note before you try and find them at the market. Lemons and limes are not differentiated and they are also green, just smaller haha.
· People do not talk to animals. My host siblings mock me every time I tell the cow good morning. Pets are for protection or catching vermin. Our cows do get vaccines though.
· Rubbing a coconut shell on wooden floors kills flea eggs.
· Bucket showers are not the worst thing ever, but boiled water makes all the difference
· People will assume you are French in the market and quote you in Francs, even if you are speaking Malagasy.
· Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, and Miley Cyrus are icons here too.
· Language trainers are really good at volleyball; they have more free time than we do. When they bust out matching jerseys you know you are screwed
· Small children will eat chicken legs and spit out the toenails.
· They eat rather large fish whole.
· You cannot point at anything with your finger, you must use your whole hand or your knuckle.
· You cannot touch the top of someone’s head unless you are close family or lovers.
· Disney movies are awesome in any language.
· Typhoid shots suck.
· People will giggle a lot, even in their 20s and 30s, when the Peace Corps doctor gives a sex talk.
· And finally, Madagascar is an awesome country J