|By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-66-85.balt.east.verizon.net - 126.96.36.199) on Monday, May 22, 2006 - 12:17 pm: Edit Post|
1999: Tamara Hudson served in Madagascar in Ampasimbe beginning in 1999
Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Tamara Hudson can be contacted at canaafrica-onlinednet
Country of Service: Madagascar
Training Group: Mad 8
Cities you served in: Ampasimbe
Arrival Year: October 1999
Departure Year: December 2002
Health Communications Advisor
Other Countries you served in, Training Group Name Arrival Year, Departure Year, Work Description:
Malawi as a Crisis Corps Volunteer from September 2002-March 2003
Bring us up to date on your life after the peace corps:
I remained in Malawi (Balaka, Malawi) as a volunteer with the same organization (the Montfort Father Missionaries). I developed a large village craft studio, called Chifundo Artisans' Network, which now employs 40 local people. We make recycled paper note cards, hand painted textiles and other unique crafts. Chifundo is now 3 years old and have begun exporting around the world. The website for the project is www.ChifundoArtisansNetwork.com
While in Malawi, I fell in love with an Italian Volunteer, and we are now happily married and settled in Balaka.
Any thoughts you have now looking back on peace corps days?:
It is funny to think that I was voted the most likely to ET in my training group - as I didn't really fit the Peace Corps stereotype, and was actually advised by the training staff to leave during IST. I really struggled with the adjustment to village life - and was never sure I was totally happy with the whole situation. I used to joke that I was the 1 in 10 that DIDN'T find the Peace Corps experience to be positive. Yet now, having lived in Africa for nearly 6 years as a volunteer - and having been through so much - I see that it was those 2 years in Madagascar that changed my entire outlook on life, and my future. It was powerful and very tramatic at times, but worth all of the mental and physical strain. I am thankful everyday that I had the chance to do Peace Corps - and that I never gave up during the difficult times. If you are lucky, the experience doesn't end after you COS, but stays with you for the rest of your life, echoed in the way you interact with the people and world around you.
Anyone you are looking for or would like to hear from?:
I would love to hear from anyone who misses big Tana nights on the town, Fenerive Est lazy days on the beach - or has fond memories of Lake Montasoa.
Originally posted: May 22, 2006
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