Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Install: Best Region Ever Region

rainforest of the southeast

The Best Region Ever Region
(Peace Corps Volunteers slogan in the Sud Est region)

southeast madagascar peace corps volunteers halloween manakara



Part of my new position in Peace Corps Madagascar is to install the newest volunteers into their new sites.  For this most recent install I requested that I install some of the volunteers in the Sud Est region and was extremely happy when I got it.  Not only was I able to install new volunteers in
my old region but we would be going out of Farafangana, my old banking town.  I looked forward to showing the newbies around my old stomping grounds and introducing them to friends and our regional traditions. 


southeast madagascar peace corps volunteers sharons manakara
New Sud Est volunteers and older volunteers joined together

The Sud Est is the region which I served in for two years and it will always hold a special place in my heart.  It has defined my service here in Madagascar in many ways and even though I have moved to the other end of the island I still hold fast to the traditions and dialect that were once an everyday part of my life there. 
   
 southeast madagascar peace corps volunteers basketball amporoforosoutheast madagascar peace corps volunteers squating at the beach in mananjary



The volunteers in this region rely on each other for support and aid and with this they have shaped themselves into a force to be reckoned with in the development of Madagascar.  They participate in development work at their sites that range from health initiatives to agricultural sustainability to education facilitation and support.  Not only do they engage in work at their own sites but they also come together to help with each other’s larger projects or regional projects like Malaria Bike Rides.  


shower project peace corps
Shower and sanitation project
malaria mural project peace corps
Malaria mural project
basketball court project peace corps
Girls camp and inauguration of the new basketball court in Amporoforo



The Sud Est is a region set apart, divided from the capital by a day long journey of long windy roads through the rainforest.  It’s a region untamed, where its laws are its own.  The volunteers in this region have a diehard adoration for everything Sud Est and have a long history of traditions of their own that go back for generations of volunteers.  This unabashed adherence to our traditions has caused volunteers in other regions to sometimes refer to us as a fraternity or cult.  Though they may set us apart, these traditions are something that binds us together as a group.  But more than just binding us, it creates within the group a sense of family.   It’s a place that sits in the hearts of all who have served there and will be for all those still to come. 


southeast madagascar peace corps volunteers vests vondrozo
Sud Est Volunteers wearing their vests for a meeting in Vondrozo
southeast madagascar peace corps volunteers biking in mahabo
Sud Est Volunteers biking in Mahabo
southeast madagascar peace corps volunteers squating in vondrozo
Sud Est Volunteers taking a Malagasy squat at a meeting in Vondrozo