Independence day in Antsirabe, then off to Tamatave

Last week, I stopped surveying short of my goal due to being sick. The 128 I have done will have to work for now because my calendar dictates I get things going in Tamatave. So, I took a three day vacation to spend the local independence holiday with a family I’m close to in Antsirabe. We had an awesome time. I spent most of my time with the three sons who are more or less my age. We did some cruising, ate some good food, and saw the city. We even met a couple cute French girls who were hanging out with a mutual friend. As it turns out, I already have a mutual friend with them from DC–small world! Monday, I came back up from Antsirabe, packed my things, and left that night for a Tamatave. The overnight bus ride to the coast is less than desirable but not the worst thing I’ve experienced in my life. It’s great to be here in Tamatave. I don’t remember my way around at all, but I’m enjoying exploring it again. Rather than mud and dust, here all you can find is sand, which can also get nasty dirty, but it’s not near as difficult as in Tana. I went down to the beach yesterday right before dusk and watched some fisherman pull in an empty net before the sun set. Today, I’m working on setting up my research and getting things organized so I can hit it hard tomorrow. I think one of my biggest challenge is going to be the language. I’ve forgotten the dialect here and it certainly takes some getting used to. Most can speak the official language, but I feel a lot more uncomfortable not knowing what’s being said around me. We’ll see how fast I adapt. The best thing about being her though is the rain. I love the rain and I missed the rainy season in Tana. Here, though, it rains in the winter, and it’s still warm enough that it’s an enjoyable experience. It’ll just make doing paper surveys a bit difficult but I’ll manage. Tomorrow I’ll find out how difficult it’s going to be to find my sampling areas and convince people to talk to me about politics.

~ by Abraham on 29 June 2011.

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