Just wanted to offer a little explanation of what you are reading.
This blog is a means of communicating my experiences as a YAGM volunteer to people outside of Madagascar.
Please remember that my experiences are limited to my specific geographic location (a suburban village outside of Antananarivo). When I say “here”, this is generally the location/culture I am referring to. I will clarify any change of location in future posts if necessary. I can’t speak for Madagascar as a whole and it’s even a struggle to summarize life in my village into all-encompassing statements because life at my house may very likely differ from life next door. (I am also struggling with the reverse when explaining American culture to my Malagasy friends and students. Yes, I am a U.S. citizen, but I’ve never spent any significant time in more than half of the towns in my own state, let alone the other 49 unique states with their own micro cultures.)
And of course, please remember that I am an outside observer to a new culture, prone to mistakes and misjudgments. However I will do my best to be as genuine as possible when describing my experiences.
Also, please excuse the lack of pictorial evidence of my experiences thus far. I have a camera with me, but it has been difficult to use discreetly without risking security or putting a barrier of privilege between myself and my host community. I really want to avoid being a “tourist” here but at the same time I want all of you to see what I am experiencing! So please be patient but expect more photos in the future. For now, enjoy one of my favorite views…
If you have any questions throughout the year, please feel free to use the comments section below!