Sunday, August 24, 2014

Just Some Pics

The guard dogs had puppies

I Got A New Bike!!!

Monday, 8/18/14
            I have been waiting for today for a while now, most intently in the past few days, and it ended on a very happy note for me.  This afternoon is when we got to pick out our new bikes that we would have for the next two years.  I say that I have been waiting more intently for the past few days because just a few days ago we saw the bike boxes laying out open on the ground and were informed that we would be able to test ride the bikes this previous weekend.  Unlike with many other things, of which we have grown accustom, we had to wait for a later time than what we were told.  After lunch today though we were able to go out and see all of the brand new bikes and pick the one that we

Final LPI

Monday, 8/18/14
            Today we took our final LPI to determine if we had the language level to continue our service.  To pass the LPI we had to receive Intermediate Low, which is just slightly higher than what we needed for our mid PST LPI.  Going into the LPI I was pretty nervous about the test, although I do not know why.  After the LPI I felt fairly good about the test, but we will see soon what I made.

Wednesday, 8/20/14
            After waiting all day we finally found out if we passed the test today.  I failed… It turns out t

The Injured Lost

Friday, 8/15/14           
            Today many of the trainees and some of the LCF’s played a soccer game against some of the people in the Mantasoa community.  Little did we know that we would be playing the Mantasoa soccer team.  Not only that, but the field we were playing on was horrible.  Half of the field was grass, but the other half was wet, hard clay that none of us could get grip on.  During the game the majority of our players ended up becoming injured in one way or another.  I myself ended up getting a big chunk taken out of my ankle by a rock.  In the end we lost the game 4-0, but to our credit we did get a few good tries on the goal.  

End of Practicum

Thursday, 8/14/14
            Today is the official end of our Practicum.  During Practicum we were split into two groups so that we taught classes every other day.  For each class we were given different class levels and lessons to teach, which we had to prepare our own lesson plans for.  This lasted for 2 ½ weeks and on the third week we had to prepare a test and give a review for that test.  Today, the final day, we gave corrections to our students for the test and then played games with them till the end of our time.  After that we all gathered and sang our national anthems to each other.  Singing the national anthem

Sunday, August 10, 2014

You Can Never Be Ready to Teach Slavery in Africa in Africa

Friday, 8/8/14

            I think the title says it all.  You can never be ready to teach ‘Slavery in Africa’ in Africa.  But this is what I was assigned to teach for today.  All in all it went fairly well.  We did a history lesson about Madagascar, West Africa, and America.  After that I taught them ‘The Drinking Gourd’ song and we did some language activities. 


Monday, 8/4/14

            Today started our language immersion at the PCTC.  Since we are back at the PCTC, PC and many of us were worried about our Gasy being affected by us never speaking it since we had each other to talk to.  So to combat this PC put in place rules for language immersion in which we are unable to speak English during meal times.  During these times we all sit at tables with other trainees and language trainers with our dialect.  We were given 10,000 points to start the immersion and if we lose them all we have to pay 500 Ar, but if we get up to 30,000 points then our trainers will do our laundry for us.  The rules are if you are caught speaking English during the specified times you will

Our Return to the PCTC

Saturday, 8/2/14

            Today all of the trainees moved out of our host homes and back to the PCTC.  Everyone was very excited about this, especially me.  Being back at the PCTC allows us to make our own decisions on so many things we were not able to do before.  We can choose if we want to eat or not, when we go to bed, and so many other things that leave us with a filling of freedom that we did not have at our host homes.  We also are able to hangout with everyone when ever we want.  At our host homes we were not able to do this as easily due to the distance between each of our houses and having to be

Manasa Lamba

Tuesday, 7/29/14

            Today was the first time I was able to do laundry in 2 ½ weeks.  We were on Tech Trip for a week and then when we got back it started raining and it has been raining ever since.  Today was the first day that it has not rained since then.  This is a really long time not to wash clothes seeing that I did not bring that many clothes to this country.  Dirty has taken on a very different definition here Madagascar.  Most things get worn multiple times before they are considered ‘dirty’ and ‘dirty’ really only means that they are visibly dirty and/or fail the smell test.  You also can not just wash your clothes when ever you want to.  Here in Madagascar we have to wash our clothes by hand.  This


Monday, 7/21/14

            Today started our practicum for our language teacher training.  There will be two and half weeks of practicum in which we will each get the opportunity to teach at least ten hours.  The Peace Corps trainers have assigned us all topics from the curriculum that we will lesson plan for and teach.  We will all get to teach many of the different school levels so that we have experience in each.  On our teaching days, if we are not teaching we observe the other students to both get ideas and give feedback to them. 

Mefloquine Took a Turn for the Worst

Monday, 7/21/14

            Madagascar is a malaria country so Peace Corps trainees/volunteers have to take malaria prophylaxis to keep from getting malaria.  On the day that we got here Peace Corps started us all on Doxycycline, which has to be taken everyday.  After two weeks of taking this and forgetting on multiple occasions I got the chance and decided to switch to Mefloquine, which only has to be taken once a week.  This is so much easier to remember and it also gives you really vivid dreams for a few nights which is pretty cool.  So I have been taking Mefloquine for the past few weeks and it has been well till last night.  Last night it took a turn for the worst. My vivid dream turned into a nightmare

Tech Trip!

Monday, 7/14/14 – Saturday, 7/19/14

            This full week was the Tech Trip for all of the Trainees.  I am still trying to decide how to state and how much of the week should be stated in this blog, but I will use this section to lay out the foundation of what Tech Trip is.  Tech Trip ultimately is a chance for the trainees to visit and observe schools and to talk to and ask questions of the students and teachers.  It is also a chance for us to explore and practice some of the things that we had been learning in our language classes.  This also would be the first time that we were outside of the Mantasoa area since we have arrived.  We have been unable to leave the area because, until now, we had not received our official documents from the


Wednesday, 7/9/14

            So today everyone was put into new language classes and we started our dialect training.  There are 18 official tribes in Madagascar, each with their own dialect of Malagasy.  Up to this point all of the trainees have been learning Standard Malagasy, which is the official language and is understood throughout the island, and some of the Highland trainees are continuing to learn it since that is what is spoken there.  As I mentioned in a previous post, my site is in the Sudest. The Sudest has three different dialects, mine being Antefasy, but they are so similar to each other that all of the trainees in the Sudest are learning together.  The dialect so far seems fairly easy with just some of the

Had My LPI Today…

Tuesday, 7/8/14

            So today I had my first LPI, which is our test to see how we are doing with our Malagasy language training.  We had one today, mid-training, then we will have another one at the end of training, which will determine if we get to go to site or not.  This LPI is to determine where we are with our training and what aspects we need help with.  To pass this test we had to have Novice High or higher, which basically means that you are able to understand question words and put together simple sentences.  In the days prior to the test I did not fell very confident with my language ability and was dreading this day.  We did though, the two days prior to the test, have mock LPI test with our