Best river trip ever (see previous posts)
Getting back after being away for a while- returning to my village after being away always makes me appreciate my little corner of Madagascar where everyone knows me (and loves me). The kids always scream my name when they see me bike in, and everyone clamors to feed me for the next few days
Hit the 3000km mark on my bike! Also the roads are dry now (sometimes dusty and sandy, but it’s better than the puddles), and my trip takes me 10-15 minutes less than it did 4 months ago, and is also generally much more enjoyable.
Vingt six, the Malagasy independence day- Imagine 4th of July in the rainforest with homemade alcohol, an abundance of rice and rice-flour bread, and different Malagasy dance music coming from every house with a generator. I plucked some chickens to help prepare the food, but generally had a low-key celebration with my surrogate Malagasy family.
Visited a friend’s site for the weekend before she leaves in August. We spent the whole day reading, drinking coffee, cooking, and doing yoga and crossword puzzles, and walking around her town.
A new French volunteer moved in a few villages over! We met up last weekend with another French friend and biked out to a nearby waterfall with a picnic lunch. It was scenic and refreshing, and nice to see a new area I hadn’t been to before. My French skills are rusty, but the company was nice.
I tried to pay for my river trip using just my Peace Corps stipend and not dip into my savings, but since it cost just about the same as one month’s living allowance, I was short on cash when I got back (actually, I didn’t even have enough money to get back until a friend repaid some money I’d lent her before). In any case, I don’t spend much money at all in my village, so it was no problem once I got home.
Returning from vacation blues- Getting home is always bittersweet. Besides all the affection, I also get a lot of guilt once I get home. There’s also always somewhat of a letdown after being literally surrounded by friends 24/7 while traveling. The peace and quiet in my house in my village is a mixed blessing.