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20 Fast Facts About Peace Corps (Madagascar) Service

July 28, 2013

1.       No, I don’t have electricity at site. Yes some volunteers do
2.       I fetch water from a well, but still have a “modern” flush style toilet…if this continues to be my biggest complaint after 2 years of service I will consider myself lucky
3.       Peace Corps gives us spiffy bikes to get around on
4.       I am not crazy for doing this
5.       Waking up early is easy to do when there are roosters
6.       The Antakarana people still respect their old government system complete with Kings
7.       Lemurs, Chameleons, and Crocodiles are considered fady, or taboo to kill. This doesn’t stop everyone, but it stops a lot of exploitation
8.       Mango season is forth coming- while waiting for fresh mangoes, Malagasy make mango relish out of un-ripened fruit
9.       Tromba are the ghosts of powerful ancestors that will occupy a mediums body when it is “clean”
10.   The Mahavavy, or make a woman, river is about 15 km from my site and contributes to the wealth of my community via a canal- it’s called the “make a woman” river because back in the day women suspected of infidelity or other atrocities were fed to the crocs as a test of their guilt or innocence. Most were guilty
11.   Lemurs, crocs, and chameleons are fady because many people believe that spirits of their ancestors frequent these creatures- I am still learning about these beliefs
12.   Razana is what the Malagasy call their ancestors
13.   Yellow fever exists here
14.   Malaria exists here
15.   Dengue fever exists here
16.   This is not a good place to get a fever in
17.   Each volunteer works with a counterpart organization as well as a Malagasy individual who is responsible for helping the volunteer integrate into site and design their 2 years of work
18.   In the north, cock fights are a big source of entertainment
19.   Aody is the name for medicine- it can refer to either traditional medicine or modern meds, and this is as confusing as it sounds
20.   Fresh sugar cane tastes a little bit like watermelon

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Danielle Hall permalink
    July 28, 2013 19:07

    Wow, Kim! So proud of you – this sounds like an awesome adventure! I am definitely going to bookmark this blog and check back in. 🙂 Additionally, I always wear my helmet, too.

    Like

    • August 4, 2013 11:35

      Thanks for writing here Danielle! Good to hear from you, it’s been too long. What new adventures have you been up to lately? And Peace Corps is one hellofatrip-glad I have 22 months more of excitement left!

      Like

  2. Jarie Castelin permalink
    July 28, 2013 19:17

    This is priceless! So you live in a house and the villagers wanted you to live there? Thanks Kim for your writings. They are poignant, funny, sad, and educational. I am sure learning alot. LOVE YOU! Jarie

    Like

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