Madagascar On My Mind...

Trip Start Aug 15, 2012
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Trip End Ongoing


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Whitney Windam

Flag of United States  , Louisiana
Monday, July 16, 2012

I just arrived in New Orleans for the ELCA National Youth Gathering with 13 young adults from Fairbanks, Alaska. It will be a miracle if we don't all melt!  It's awesome to be with these kids as they go through this great experience, and I love being back in NOLA.

This week, I FINALLY found out what I will be doing starting this autumn in Madagascar.  I will be living in a two-room shanty in Ambovombe (pronounced am-boo-voom-bay) Madagascar, working with the Community Conservation Development Center on various environmental conservation, education, and sustainable land and water use projects.  This is the exact kind of job I was hoping to get when I first applied for the program back in February!  Ahhhhh!!!  The center gives me the opportunity to explore the projects they are working on and focus on the ones in which I am most interested.  I am so excited to find some cool conservation projects.  Will I single-handedly save every endangered fuzzy/scaly creature in Madagascar?!?  Only time will tell… 

I will be living alone in the shack they found for me, and have access to my own latrine-style toilet.  But, the best part about the shanty I’ll be living in is the electricity situation.  Technically I have electricity… but only if I hook up a car battery to the outside of the house!  When it runs out, I walk into town, battery in tow, and getting charged up at the auto shop.  Perhaps I shall purchase a red rider wagon to tote my battery around.  Ha!  I can’t wait to start this new crazy life-style.

I also get to work with a Lutheran bible school while I am there.  I think that I will mostly be teaching English, but I’m not sure what else they will throw me into.  Uncertainty breeds adventure!

Currently, all my pre-trip vaccinations are complete, the logistics of getting my stuff to Boise and then to Madagascar is figured out, and, of course, my placement is finalized.  Now that all that is done, all I can focus on is how excited I am.  It is still extremely hard to believe that in less than 1 month, I will be starting training for my year in Madagascar, but the more I review the informational emails from my country coordinators in Tana, the more and more real it gets.  Everything just seems to keep falling in place for me, and it makes me certain that Young Adults in Global Mission is exactly what I should be doing this next year.  It feels good to have that certainty.

Now I just need to figure out how to send a visa application form to Madagascar while I’m running around crazy with 30,000 teenagers on the streets of New Orleans.  Yikes!

Peace,

Luke
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