March 16, 2004: Headlines: COS - Madagascar: PCVs int he Field - Madagascar: Blog: Personal Web Site: What the hell is Bob Horowitz doing as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Madagascar?

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Madagascar: Peace Corps Madagascar : The Peace Corps in Madagascar: March 16, 2004: Headlines: COS - Madagascar: PCVs int he Field - Madagascar: Blog: Personal Web Site: What the hell is Bob Horowitz doing as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Madagascar?

By Admin1 (admin) (151.196.242.91) on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 5:36 pm: Edit Post

What the hell is Bob Horowitz doing as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Madagascar?

What the hell is Bob  Horowitz doing as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Madagascar?

What the hell is Bob Horowitz doing as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Madagascar?

What the hell is Bob doing in Madagascar?

Tuesday, March 16, 2004
Manahoana Kelsey and April,

This is the 3rd week in Mcar. We stayed in a hotel in Antananarivo 4 days due to cyclone damage to the training center the day we arrived. Only saw Paris from the air, had good weather over the Alps, Mediterranean, and Sahara Ė long flight but beautiful view. Tana was quite an amazing intro to the country although we were limited to the central district around the hotel. We were driven out to the host families in the village of Anjiro. My family consists of papa Julien, mama Suzanne, teenagers Fanevo (m), Andrianine (f) and Ando (f). Julien owns a hillside of timber he harvests for lumber and charcoal. He also owns several acres of rice at the bottom of the slope and is very conscious of erosion as he would stand to lose his fields if the hillside came down. The house is very Spartan. Some of the other volunteers homes are almost posh by comparison. Weíre situated between the railroad tracks and a dirt/mud road. Ox carts and whip cracking tenders wake me nearly every morning. The tracks seem to be the social hub of the village, so there are people milling around all day. That is until 6:30 PM when everyone goes inside and closes the doors and shutters. Anopheles fly at night. Also, I think there is a strong cultural taboo against being outdoors after dark. Witches actually prowl at night and people believe in their power of evil. My room is dark as a coal mine, with only candles to read by. I do have a flashlight when I need it.

The food is good and varied. Rice, rice and rice!! The Saturday market is Anjiro is mind boggling. There are chickens, ducks, rabbits, beef, fish (ugh), beans, carrots, cucumbers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, papayo, mango, bananas, the best pineapple Iíve ever tasted, eggs Ė you name it. All local, all fresh (except the nasty little fish).

Learning Malagasy is a huge challenge, and hence bargaining at bazaar is no small item. Mama Suzanne leads me through. Ando & Andrianine set up a mini bazaar at home to help me through it. Ando is my favorite. Sheís a remarkably bright, sweet and pretty 15 yr. old. Sheís learning English in school so we seem to always find a way to communicate. Papa Julien sensed that I understood his timber business. I explained that I used to work in a mill and cut wood for heating years ago. The friendship really clicked at that point.

Our group was the first to get site assignments at the beginning of training. Iím going to Beforona, on the road from Tana to the coast. Itís an established training and demonstration farm that is operated by NGOs. Iím told itís a plum position. My banking town is Muramanga which has internet access Ė Iíll be there at least once a month. The whole training group will visit the Beforona site in a couple of weeks.

Well, as of this evening 4 people have gone home, or announced that they are going home soon. All in all, itís a tough gig even though there have been some wonderful moments.

Weíre actually at the training center in Mantasoa this week, itís a beautiful, relaxing, rustic resort on a lake in the mountains. Weíre learning agriculture technique. The R&R is welcome. I just broke out my camera here. I took a few pictures from the hotel in Tana, but nothing in Anjiro. I will when I return. One of my friends has a laptop and will burn my pics to CD. Iíll put one in the mail soon.

Hope all is well in Sacramento and your upcoming move is moving along.

Itís getting late and Iím looking forward to tonightís mefloquine dream.

Take good care! Bob

Text of an airmail letter I received today. Written 2/25/04. I haven't asked Bob if it is ok for me to post this stuff but I don't think he'd mind... Posted by: Kelsey / 3:37 PM doing well... do not reply

we have been Tana since arrival since the training center was damaged in a cyclone the day before. will head out to host village sunday. Tana is amazing and bustling with activity 24 hrs.

PC broke tradition and gave us our site information yesterday. i will be helping manage a teaching farm in the town of Beforona, east of Tana on the road to the coast. banking and shopping will be in Muramanga, which is just to the west. have been told this is q plum job. let you know when i have the opportunity.

language training is hard, it will take a lot of effort.

this is a good group of volunteers. have been out for beers twice.

i get back as soon as possible, probably by snail mail.

Bob

received this email from Bob on Feb. 7 Posted by: Kelsey / 3:34 PM




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Story Source: Personal Web Site

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Madagascar; PCVs int he Field - Madagascar; Blog

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