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May 31, 2013

Our American medical officer, Dr.C, told us to celebrate our anniversaries, so this post is in celebration of living in Ampondralava for 12 days, or my-almost-2-weeks-at-site anniversary. For those of you scratching your heads and wondering WHAT gift is traditional to give for such an occasion, I have been given rice and duck eggs from my neighbors. So that’s a great place to start.

I am having a hard time focusing on just one story to relay in this post, and to avoid rambling, I will try and give a recap of what my first 2 weeks in Ampondralava were like. Because I have been waiting so long to live this Peace Corps dream, I was surprised to find myself having frequent but fleeting doubts about being here for 2 years. No doubt loneliness, the difficulty of not understanding anything, and the general this-is-a-new-place-what’s-going-on-here feeling all contributed to my doubts, and at times downright fright, of the 2 year commitment I’ve just made. Like the other great comic book heroes, I not only survived my dark hours of doubt, but banished them with little victories like:

1)      Killing all the cockroaches in my house with a washtub that sits under my broken sink the first night. Fewer sights were sweeter than the bodies of my vanquished foes floating in the oily water among bits of rice leftover from my dinner. Though I’d love to claim credit, this was really just a pleasant coincidence that the roaches in my kitchen can’t swim. Yet.

2)      Understanding 1 word in 10 that my neighbor girls gabber at me. They are young and sassy, and man do they talk fast!

3)      Meeting a new person everyday and remembering their name the next. It was even sweeter when they remembered my name too.

4)      Having my amazing counterpart, Madame Ginette, call me her “white younger sister” on the 2nd day because we’re both tall, ferocious, and stand the same way.

5)      Not being afraid of chameleons.

6)      Not being afraid of cows.

7)      Not being afraid of mud.

8)      Generally just not being afraid. Period.

9)      Getting to see the hustle and bustle of harvest season and begin to glimpse the pace of life here during the dry season.

10)   Touring rice fields, sugar cane fields, and the forest with different new friends.

11)   Getting an Ankarana fist bump. Hell ya bro.

For more details on the adventures of Hippie Kim in Ampondralava check back here for new posts and updates! Until then, babble on!


One Comment leave one →
  1. Jessica Moser permalink
    May 31, 2013 22:24

    So happy to hear of the little victories in overcoming your fears. Just keep thinking big picture!! So proud of everything you’re doing and I love the posts and updates. You’ve got an immense support system back here in the States and I just keep on sendin’ some good vibes your way. There’s no time to feel lonely, my friend. There’s too much work to be done and changing the world to dream of. Sending you all of my love. -Jess


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