Wednesday, January 16, 2002

From an island in the Indian Ocean

Mbola tsara everyone!
I miss you guys so much!!!
Hope you had a wonderful holiday or days! mine were great!! we cooked, we partook in the local toka, local rum that is—i am not crazy enough to try the home brewed stuff—people hqve literally gone blind….think im all set with that!

God there is so much to say

Since i have last emailed i have killed a chicken—yes my friends i have tasted bloood, i am now a killer…hope you dont think to ill of me. Its acutually quite an experience here; you dont break the neck first, you siply step on the wings, hold the head firm and saw at the neck with a lovely dull malagasy knife---yes that was my first and i do believe my last time killing a chicken—though i have to say thpose bastards are annoying!! they roost IN the goddamn house, smell and shit all over the place, rats invaded the house, i STILL have bed bugs and fleas no matter how many times i put my sheets in the sun those damn kids just keep dragging them back in my room, my malagsy mpother turned psycho stole my batteries—BITCH, ive been sick a total of six times—im a rock star, ive got bites of ever kind ALL over, for the next to years i will be living in a red zone for malaria and cholera OH and didi you know that (à percent of all plague cases are found here. And all i can do is smile! no worries mates! i promise you i am in no immediate danger, im doing really well and so excited to start! as long as i can still smile i know im ok! oh and i made a shit tove, yes that is right, a stove out of shit—you make it by HAND, that WAS NOT in the contract! never again—thats all i have to say about that!

On the flip side, ive been partying with the other volunteers every chance we get before we get shipped out to site! it quiet strange being in madagascar in a latin bar drinking the local punch speaking french and malagasy and listening to michael jackson blast through the speakers—sometimes i get just a little confused as to where in the world i am!

Speaking of speaking malagasy, i just had mu final langauga test and they rated me advanced!!! hahaha—thats so funny shit cause its impossible! but my peers nominated me to give a speech in malagasy at out swearing, which i was very honored to except until i learned that its a hige deal and the ambassor comes, and majors, and generals, and all kinds of officials, and its on TV and i get interviewed—no pressure! christ, what do i get myself into?! this is going to be very funny—Aisha makes a royal ass of herself!

WE CAMPED AT A NATIONAL PARK last weekend which was beautiful!!! we took a three hour night hike and "three hour morning hike and saw chamelons, and lemurs, and snakes, and the kind of insects they had in Indian Jones and the Temple of Dome, and it was just truly incredible! i have some great parks up by me—i can not wait to explore them!

There is so much more to say, but itll have to wait untill next time!

All my love and best wishes from across the seas, happy belated holidays, and more letters are on the way!

Tiako be anareo,