The months go on, and I’m in the last part of my service. Where does the time go? Over the course of my stay here in Madagascar, I have mused more than once on the perception of time as a Peace Corps volunteer; there’s too much time, there’s not enough time, time goes so fast, time goes so slow…and so on. Even after all these months, those slow Peace Corps days still get to me. In order to combat that feeling of purposelessness that gets to you on your worst days, I started to compile a list of the little things and memories that I love so much here in Madagascar and that make my time and my work worthwhile and fulfilling. I realized pretty early on in this whole journey that my legacy would be measured by my relationships and experiences even more than my work and projects; this list is a reminder of that. I read back my own memories, and I can’t help but smile a little to remember all these little things that have shaped me over my time in Mahatalaky. How lucky am I.
· The first time I ever floated on my back in the Indian Ocean in Ste Luce and that feeling of total weightlessness that you only get in super salty ocean water.
· Watching Malagasy music videos with 6-year-old Christian every night for the first 4 months I lived in Mahatalaky and the way he would look at me with his big brown eyes and quiz me on who the best Malagasy singers were.
· My first rainy season in Madagascar, watching Disney movies on the floor of my house with Erica, Christian, and Elena.
· How obsessed every single person in my village was with this song back in October 2011: Benono!
· Four year-old Elena falling asleep in my lap every morning at 10am during my first 4 months at site. This little girl alone made me feel like I was finally a part of the community.
· The classic Madagascar thunderstorm that rolls in so quickly you don’t even notice until you feel the thunder rumbling beneath your feet.
· Watching the Mayor wade around in giant galoshes and a rain suit during said thunderstorms.
· The joy written all over the kids’ faces when we’re doodling with chalk all over my house.
· Christian’s bright pink snow pants that he wears on every single rainy day.
· Blowing bubbles for the kids until I see stars from oxygen deprivation. The way they squeal with delight as they try and catch them, and the way they gaze with awe and wonder as they watch one float away on the breeze into the sky.
· Sitting around the yard as the sun sets and the Mayor strums some songs on the guitar while the kids dance.
· Washing my hair upside down with a bucket of water in the middle of the day, just because it was hot season and I needed to cool down.
· The time Patricia rearranged my whole little house and I had no idea what was happening until it was nearly fully completed. Just goes to show that after a year and a half I still have no idea what’s going on most of the time.
Little things like this have made my time in Madagascar the most amazing and growing experience I have ever had. Just wanted to share! Bisou.