Friday, May 25, 2012

Cheeseburger in Paradise :)

This is my life…
May 25, 2012
Hello everyone out there is the cyber world!

I know it has been awhile since I have written so let me fill you all in.
After Easter Vacation the teachers here on St Marie decided to go on strike. Other parts of Mada were already on strike and the teachers here wanted to show solidarity so they voted to go on strike too. After two weeks of no classes the teacher voted to start teaching again and that have been in effect since the middle of May. We have about 5 weeks left of teaching then 2 weeks of exams and then we are officially done for the year! Crazy that the first year of my Peace Corps service is almost done! Time has flown by, is seems just like yesterday that I go my invitation to come to Madagascar and was telling all my students at SLHS that I was coming here and promising to bring back lemurs for people.

Right now I am at a very fancy and expensive hotel on my island. They have free wifi so I have been coming here once a week to get my fill of the outside world. At this very moment I am looking out on the Indian Ocean and I can see the main island of Madagascar in the distance. I just had a margarita and I'm waiting for my hamburger, only the 2nd one I have had here on Madagascar. One thing that I don’t think I will ever get tired of is the view of the ocean and the sunsets here.

Peace, Love and a sunset with a hamburger… not a bad life <3 

Monday, April 30, 2012

yup I am still alive!

April 30, 2012
A long time without writing

I know it has been a very long time since I have written a real post on here!
Life here on St. Marie as a Peace Corps volunteer is going well. I’m in the 3rd week of the last trimester here, we have school all of May, most of June (except for a few days at the end when there is a break to celebrate Madagascar’s independence day) and then 2 weeks in July and then I will have officially been a teacher for one year and have been here in Mada for a year! How the time has flown. Here is a list of things that have been going on in my life:
  1. I have figured out that I really like to put things into lists. I don’t know how or why this started but it does make being a teacher a bit easier! Yay for lists J
  2. I had to buy a new phone two weeks ago. Why you might ask? Here is the sad but true story; I went on my weekly visit to the beach, which is about a 45 min bike ride from my house. When I left my house it was sunny, hot and beautiful, a perfect day to go lay on the beach with a book. I ride my bike there, get my towel, book and snacks set up, walk into the water and then it starts to rain. No big deal a little rain never stopped me from swimming and enjoying the beach. I made sure there was no lightning and continued to swim. Then out of nowhere the nice drizzle of rain turned into a downpour. I got out of the water and stood under a palm tree with all my stuff for 20 mins. After the 20 mins it was still pouring and I made the decision to just go home. I had wrapped my phone in my shirt and shorts while I was swimming but now that I was going to ride I needed to wear them, I carefully took my phone and put it into my backpack and covered it with my towel and book. I rode home in the pouring rain (I have pictures of myself that I took as soon as I got home, I was soaked) got to my house opened my backpack to discover my phone sitting in the bottom of the bag in a puddle L I completely fried my phone. I now carry my phone around in a zip lock baggie just incase there is a freak rainstorm.
  3. I have become rather resourceful here; I have always been (in my very humble opinion) pretty good at making due with what I had and using what is on hand to get a job done. Example: No clean cups? I would use a jar or better still my hands…yeah I have on occasion drank water out of my hands instead of washing a cup, I only tell this to you to point out that I am a problem solver. So here in Mada I have gotten even craftier in my problem solving abilities. I was at a hotel recently, where there was a toilet. This toilet kept running, the water in the back part kept trickling in and it was starting to annoy me. So I took the lid off the tank and attempted to move the plunger thing up so that the water would stop… bad plan, it broke! Now I had the plunger in one hand and the tank of the toilet filling with water, I knew that if I didn’t stop the water it would over flow. Well, using my super skills I was able to reattach (kinda) the plunger and get the water to stop by rigging up a kind of nail/lever thing with my bobby pin and hair tie. My bobby pin and hair tie are now a permeate fixture in a random hotel here in Mada!
  4. I had a few friends come and visit me over Easter vacation and with them I was able to discover the fine eateries here on St. Marie. I always felt weird going to a restaurant by myself but  with my friends I was able to find all good places. The best one that we discovered was a pizza place called mama santa pizza. Since discovering this place I have eaten there 4 times. Last week as I was walking to order my pizza I passes a French guy who works at the French school here and he called me over to talk. We talked for a bit and then he asked where I was going, I told him “to get pizza”. His response was “ An American girl eating pizza for dinner, that’s kinda cliché” haha it is nice to know that the good people in France know our  American love for pizza!

Well those are all the stories I have for now! I hope that life in the states is going wonderfully and that the weather is starting to warm up! Happy almost May!

Peace, Love and it is almost whale season here!

Monday, April 16, 2012

I am a busy girl

so i realize that i have not posted a blog since Feb... i will try to post an update soon. In the mean time all is well here just busy :) peace love and workin on my tan and teaching

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A few things I have survived

Hello Blog readers!!

I wanted to write to update everyone on my crazy adventures here in Madagascar, in particular my last 4 days heres.

In case you didn't know there was a Cat 4 cyclone here... yup.

On Sunday night I got a call from the Peace Corps telling me that I should pack a bag and get ready to come to the capital, Tana, to ride out the storm in the safety of the PC house that they have there. So I grabbed a handful of clothes and another of underpants and threw them into my backpack and the rest into my waterproof suit cases and went to tell the principals of the school that I work at that I was leaving the island to go to Tana because of the cyclone. Then I talked to my parents, texted with friends and finally fell asleep at 2am. At exactly 3:30 I woke up to pouring rain and super wind... I was not happy. I had to wait till 4:30 to walk to the downtown ( about a 2 min walk from my house) so I finished my cyclone prep of my house and then at 4:30 I locked my windows and door said a little prayer for my house and walked to the downtown.
When I got into down town there was no one around.  I sat on a bench and waited about 15 minutes. Then a little light came on in one of the small coffee places.I went over and ask the guy if he had the number of a taxi that I could call, he gave me two, neither worked. Just as I was about to have a panic attack because I needed to be to the airport in exactly 30 mins and that is how long it takes to get there, the small man said , in English, there is a taxi at my house I will go get it, you will get to the airport. He left and 10 mins later came back with a taxi for me to take.

I got to the airport and in true Gasy fashion there was no one there, at this point it was 6:00 my flight was leaving at 7:40 so I needed to check in. After sitting awkwardly in the empty airport, people started showing up. I checked in and sat for a little bit. At 6:40 the plane came we boarded and took off I arrived in Tana at 7:40! YAY!!

So now lets skip to yesterday, February 15th,  the storm was over here in Tana and it was nothing special. Some trees and billboards down but nothing too horrible. Me and Jessie went downtown Tana to meet up with, Brad,Sam, Corey and James. As we are walking a bunch guys came up and ripped my purse off my body. Yup thats right I got robbed and on my half birthday! They got  some money, my sunglasses, Peace Corps Ids and my phone :( Looking back at it I was lucky that they didn't try to use a knife to slash the bag ( it happens here that they slash your bag with a razor blade or knife) because they way i was wearing the bag I would have been cut.

So other then a cyclone and being a robbery victim I am doing really good here in Madagascar!

Peace love and no more craziness for awhile please...

Monday, January 16, 2012

here are somethings for you to read...enjoy

December 31, 2011

Last day of a big year!

Well 2011 is almost over (and by the time I post this it will already be 2012) and boy what a year it was! Some of the highlights of my 2011 include:
  1. Directing Oklahoma! at SLHS
  2. Besties Em & Nicki graduating from college!!
  3. Learning that I would be spending my Peace Corps service in Madagascar.
  4. Going to Madagascar, 15-hour flight from the states… not the most fun part of the year.
  5. Learning a new language, well at least trying to J
  6. Saying goodbye to my best friends in the states and making new ones here
  7. Becoming an English teacher
  8. Spending Thanksgiving alone but having a great dinner complete with candlelight
  9. Spending Christmas away from my family but with 5 of my good friends here in Mcar.

What a year!!
Here is to 2012 and that it is filled with as much adventure, love and fun as 2011 has been.

Peace, Love and 2012, it’s going to be an even BIGGER year!

December 31, 2011…Part 2

So I’m sure all you blog readers (all 4 of you lol) are wondering what I have been up to since I haven’t written in a LONG time. Well let me fill you all in!

Since last time I have finished my first trimester as an English teacher! I have flown to the big island, seen all my friends, sat through some more training at the PCTC, had a water balloon fight (thanks James), bought a dress and a sweet shirt that says “let’s dance” and has a high top shoe on it from a street vendor (it sounds really lame but it is actually kinda cool) took a taxi ride to Moramanga and saw some lemurs with Carolyn & Steph, spent Christmas with my friends, made spaghetti for xmas eve and soup for xmas day, played the card game Hearts a few times, watched movies and TV shows ( my fav being the episode of The Office where one of them, maybe Andy?, is in Sweeny Todd ) and finally flying back to Sainte Marie. Whew! And all of that happened in the course of about 20 days!

Being away from my family on Christmas was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. But, I think the reason for that is because it didn’t really feel like Christmas. It was hot, I was in a strange house, I didn’t open any presents and there was no Xmas feast, or not one that included all the trimmings like at home. However, with that all being said I do think it was one of my favorite Christmases! I got to spend it with some of my good friends that I made during training, Steph, John, Kim, Carolyn and James. On Xmas eve day we went shopping in the downtown, which was very scary to say the least. Tons of people in very little space. After downtown shopping we went to one the few grocery stores and bought stuff to make spaghetti. After getting back to the PC house all us girls decided to go get changed into our pretty Xmas outfits and get all spiffed up for dinner. After pretty up time we made dinner and then sat down to a wonderful feast of spaghetti, garlic bread, salad, egg drop soup and homemade egg nogg! Really good! Waking up Christmas morning was like any other day. All Christmas day the 5 of us (John had to leave early in the morning on the 25th) sat around and talked, laughed and just had a really chill day. Later in the afternoon we ventured out to buy stuff (mostly veggies for soup and booze, it wouldn’t be Xmas with out some cheap Malgasy Rum lol) We made a stew soup thing for dinner and right as we were sitting down to eat (at 8 o’clock because it took longer to cook then we thought. oops) one of my all time favorite quotes was said by James, an excellent observation of “ none of us are wearing sleeves” which in fact none of us were, we were all in tank tops, a Christmas first for me being used to Christmas in MI with snow and sweaters! The rest of the night was filled with more laughter and good times. If I had to have a Christmas away from my family I am glad that I was able to spend it was the people that I did. J

Peace, Love and a Christmas I will never forget <3

January 10, 2012

Observations from a girl with a lot of time on her hands!

  1. Yesterday I saw a little girl with a backpack that said BATMAN! And it had a picture of spiderman.
  2. You know those t shirts people make for events like “ Sarah’s Super Sweet Sixteen” or “ Homecoming 2000… the best ever” well I have seen where those end up when people don’t want them anymore… here in Madagascar where they have NO IDEA what they say. Haha ps Bridget think of some of our shirts we wanted to make… or better yet the shorts LOL
  3. Because of they way my hair is growing out after my self hair cut, if I were to stick it straight up in the air I would look like a treasure troll. You know with the pointy hair? Haha
  4. I don’t know if I have mentioned this on here before but there are roosters here that are the size of small dogs, no joke. But they do run away when you walk toward them so that is kind of comforting.
  5. My windows here are the same height as me, if I stand on the ledge I can exactly fit in the window.
  6. I really like even numbers and in my classes when I give exercises they always have to have an even number of questions.
  7. Today I did a dialogue with my 4eme class complete with props. A hat and sunglasses have never caused this much laughter and never have my students wanted to volunteer this much! Score another point for my theatre major!
  8. My house is starting to look like a home. I have put all my cards on my wall over my desk and I put up some pictures that Em sent me. SO… if you send me a letter or pictures, or both, I will put them on my pink walls and look at them all the time <3
  9. I can tell what kind of day I am going to have based on how I write the date in my classes. If it is curly and super squiggely then it will be a good day!
  10. Some of the funniest things I have seen here in Mcar are baby suits, that is tiny suit coats, vests and pants for babies. If you have seen one you know what I mean if you haven’t, you should they are awesome. It makes me want a baby butler. Lol
  11. I figured out that I can wear my hair anyway I want and people will just think that that is what is in fashion in the states. Side ponytails… welcome back!
  12. There is a tiny little lizard that lives in my room and he was sitting on my leg the other day. I felt some thing and sat up and there he was just chillin on my leg. He is about a inch long and pink… super cute!

Well that is all for now, I hope this list was informative and made you smile a bit J

Peace Love and Random thoughts from Mada.

Friday, November 18, 2011

a few things to read

November 8, 2011

One hot girl

Never in my life have I loved cold water so much! It is starting to get really hot here and today I bought a cold water from one of the shops here. IT WAS THE BEST THING EVER!!! I don’t have a refrigerator so I only get cold things when I go out and buy them at a store with a fridge, and since I can get water for free, I don’t buy cold water very often. However, today I was so hot after walking to town to go on the Internet that I had to buy something to drink. Oh my goodness I miss being able to drink cold stuff on a regular basis!
The other day as I sat in my window, I was thinking about my life and how much it has changed and how much it will change over then next few years while I am here in Madagascar. Here are some of the interesting facts about myself that I came up with:
1.      I have not driven a car since July 12th 2011 and will not drive one (unless there is a crazy emergency and PC lets me) until September 2013.
2.      I have not seen my best friends since July 8th - 9th 2011 and unless one of them strikes it rich in the next 675 days and flies out here I won’t see them till September 2013.
3.      I have been a teacher here for going on 6 weeks already and only have 2 weeks  (including this one) of instruction, a week of review and then it is exam time. In other words I am almost done with my 1st trimester of teaching!
4.      This year will be the first time that I won’t be seeing any of my family for the holidays. I have mixed emotions about this, on the one I know that I will be a bit sad and miss them but on the other it makes me feel super grown up, which is a good thing because I don’t feel like a grown up very often J
5.      Gross but true, I have not gone to the bathroom in a regular toilet in 7 weeks. Funny how quickly I adjusted to this kinda big change in my everyday life.
6.      I have not gone shopping in a store larger then my bedroom since July 2011.
7.      I have eaten pasta almost everyday that I have been at site and some how have still managed to lose weight. A dream come true; eat pasta everyday and not getting super fat!
8.      Some days I don’t speak English to anyone but myself. *I speak to people just not in English*
9.      In one day here I walk further then I did in a week at home. To be honest I was lazy in the states and didn’t walk anywhere so it is not that hard to walk more here, plus I walk everywhere here… I have no other way to get around!
10.  I have learned to read military time since coming to Mcar.
11.  I never realized how much I like sandwiches. I have had more then one dream about eating BLT and club sandwiches, I miss them a lot!
12.  I know that answer to that old question “if you were stranded on an island what one book and one movie would you want to have with you?’ let me tell you that one of each would not be enough! I have several books and movies and those are barely enough! But if I had to chose just one of each I would chose the 7th Harry Potter book, b/c it is long and it is a total escape from reality and Singing in the Rain for my movie b/c it has everything, love, conflict, singing and dancing. And if I had to I could occupy my time by learning the dances. Who knows maybe I will get bored enough here and learn them!

Well that is all for now!
Peace, Love & dreaming of cold drinks and sandwiches
November 14, 2011

And on the main stage….

Hello all!

I hope all is well in the good old USA! Everything is going smoothly here on Sainte Marie, it gets hotter everyday but there haven’t been any cyclone or nasty weather systems moving thru so I will take the heat over those any day!

I wanted to share a something with you all that happened to me today.

First let me start off by saying that if you didn’t know I was a theatre major in college and directed plays at SLHS last year. (To any of my high schoolers who are reading this, I hear you did a wonderful job with your performances, last weekend, I’m super proud of all of you!!) Anyway, theatre is in my blood. So I go to walk into my 4eme class this afternoon and there is a platform running the length of the chalkboard. The board is very tall so I guess other teachers complained and they school built this platform. Which is super great for short people like some of my students and myself. However, as I taught today I felt like I was on a stage! The platform makes it so that I am much taller then the students who are sitting. It is already kind of intimidating to stand in front of a class that only understands every 5th word out of your mouth, now with this new stage at the front it is a whole new ball game. J The fact that I was acting out a dialogue didn’t really help the “I’m on a stage” feeling either. But, I do have to say that I never thought I would be on a stage again so this is a nice little reminder of what it feels like to be in the spotlight… so to speak!

Peace, Love and I’m standing center stage again!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011