Saturday, October 22, 2011

Monitalaky: An Overview

A quick update from Madagascar in bullet form...

  • I am alive and well! 
  • The town I live in is called Mahatalaky.
  • I live in a small two floor bungalow right next to the mayor and his family, and very close to the health center where I work. 
  • To my extreme joy, I've been adopted into the mayor's family and they take care of me. I eat with them, hang out with them, and go on little trips with them. They tell me that they know if I am not smiling then that means I will want to go home, so they are always doing kind and thoughtful things for me. They have a car and a motorcycle that they say are at my disposal for whenever I need them, and I feel very lucky to have such a good support network at my site so soon into my arrival here. 
  • My best friend is a 12 year old boy named Eric. He reminds me a lot of my brother, which is why I think we get along so well. He is so sweet, but also has a streak of troublemaker running through him. He was pretty much the only person who ever understood what I was saying when I first got to Mahatalaky in September, and his patience with my lack of language skills and his willingness to just sit with me on the stoop of my house really made my transition into living here smoother. Clearly, I am smitten. :)
  • Work at the health center is good, if not a little slow. It's a challenge since my language skills still are not where I would like them to be, but every day I just keep talking to people and practicing, and I'm starting to be more comfortable. I do a lot of prenatal counseling talks with expectant mothers and talks about the importance of vaccinating kids. 
  • Every night in Mahatalaky, they turn on the generator, and from 7-9pm you can go watch music videos and a movie. It's hilarious. I'm getting really good at some of the traditional Malagasy dances, which provides endless entertainment for everyone watching me. They think it's hilarious to see a vazaha dancing, they say I'm not very good, but I believe differently! 
  • My address here is:
Monica Skelton, Corps de la Paix
Commune Rurale Mahatalaky
Fort Dauphin, Madagascar

  • I'll be back in Fort Dauphin next weekend too, so I will post pictures and a more detailed blog (for those interested aka not Ian Skelton) then! 
  • All my love!!

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