Here are my top 10 tips for surviving Peace Corps Madagascar: (to the new group of Ag/Health volunteers coming here in March: please note that this list applies to your service as a volunteer, not to your two months of training. Your life as a volunteer will be very different from your experience during training.)
1. Don’t expect to be busy (work proceeds at a very different speed than in the US)
2. Lower your standards for entertainment. (evenings without electricity can be long)
3. Get adopted by a Malagasy family in your village, and, if possible, in your banking town
4. Take care of your health. Treat your body like it’s valuable, because getting sick here is no fun.
5. Never say no to a good suggestion
6. Be tamana at site (translates roughly to “at home”)
7. That said, you’re in Madagascar- see as much of it as possible
8. Remember that there’s always someone watching you- you are a celebrity, and people notice what you do, good or bad.
9. Don’t be too attached to your things. Stuff gets lost, stolen or broken easily
10. Have things to look forward to (and don’t think about two years- take it one month at a time)
Have fun, and good luck!