Well, there are ups and downs to every job, and this past week has had a lot of both and then some. So, upon my return to the country, my host family from Mantasoa calls and says that they want to come visit me. Lesson about Malagasy: they do not plan in advance. I thought maybe this was just with work, but they called Monday (although I didn’t actually talk to them until Wednesday) and said they wanted to come visit on Thursday that same week. I got them to delay it until Monday.
So, they arrived on Monday, at about 4 in the afternoon, 3 boys, 5, 9 and 12, and the mom. I was very excited to see them…and then they got in my house. I had put most of my really important stuff in my trunk and locked it, but what I didn’t realize is that they were going to pick anything up that wasn’t nailed down. Pick up, mess with, throw, put in their mouths ect. I realized that part of this is due to the fact that there isn’t really anything in their house that is just for “decoration.” They are not used to the phrase “look with your eyes, not your hands.” And it wasn’t just in my house, but when we went to visit a few of my friends and neighbors houses and when we went to the market. I ended up being the disciplinarian. And occasionally gave up and put on a Disney movie. It is a very different situation when you have your own space to escape to. But my house is only one room, so I was on Malagasy overload for 4 straight days. Welcome back to Madagascar, here is your kick-start back into Peace Corps. Mazotoa! Haha.
Lessons learned: small children touch things, a lot. 5 year olds still put everything in their mouths, and small boys like to get dirty and sticky and bring that mess into your house. And finally, family is family, no matter where they are from. (Also, even if they aren’t actually your family, but just adopted you for a month.)
I survived, I learned, and I don’t intend to let them come stay again. I will love them from afar haha.
There were good things about last week as well. The website for the Village Store launched while I was in the states, and we sold out of two colors already!! I spoke with the founder of Madagascar Cooperative Foundation, and he is planning on doing another silk order next week or the week after. Hooray for exportation! The website is http://thevillagestore.org/ which you can also find under the communication page at the top of my blog. There is no shipping costs, and the items ship from Utah (all of the products are shipped to storage there until they are ordered) and they take about a week to arrive. The website explains the story of silk, from the blog post I posted a couple months ago, and they offer other fun artisanal products as well.
Check it out!! And help us keep up sustainable development.