Our situation here is very ‘fluid.’ If you talked to me on Tuesday, I would have put money down on the fact that we would be leaving. But Tuesday (the day Andry was going to march around Tana and put his self-appointed ministers in office came and went). Yesterday (Wednesday) came and went with no issues. 25,000 people (or more depending on the source) gathered at a stadium peacefully in Tana to show support for the President (…or democracy).
For the most part, people here are sick of the President—but they also don’t want any more violence. As a ‘cryptic’ message stated from Peace Corps a week ago ‘Things continue to be fluid.’ Steve the Peace Corps Director of
With that said, we have been told that we cannot be ‘consolidated’ forever, which means Saturday is our ‘trigger’ day. If things remain calm, we could realistically go back to site and stay ‘on alert,’ but if things get remotely ‘ugly,’ we would be pulled out and the program here in
Of course I wouldn’t say it’s definite that I will still be here next week (things after all are ‘fluid’), but the only reason why I am still writing this post in Madagascar is because it’s still very much a possibility.
Just a little information on my state of mind:
Manahira walked down the street and greeted me with a smile. I’ve been held up in the hotel now for two weeks. My interaction with him brings mixed feelings. He tells me about his Moringa Tree—explaining how fast it’s been growing. We chat about how he hasn’t been able to teach the last week because of the ‘crisis’ (he’s the elementary school Teacher in Amboandrika and schools have been suspended). I ask about the condition of the sea in St. Luce, he reports that it’s been rough—no fish (we just had a cyclone) and the price of rice and cassava (the two food stables) have gone up dramatically. I tell him a little about my situation and encourage him to start adding the leaves of his Moringa tree to his side dishes (for nutrional value). I hope for the best by saying that I’ll see him again on Saturday in St. Luce, we shake hands and part-ways.
The question that keeps rolling through my mind…Is that the last time I will ever see that person (or in the case of Manahira, someone from my village)? It’s a joy to see people, but it is also a bit awkward and painful because you both don’t know what the future holds.
Here is what a friend told me two days ago. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer here and extended twice (serving a total of four years). He is now teaching english for a local NGO.
‘’Brendan, I got lucky man.’’ He tells me over a Coke.
‘’We all want a nice experience, but mine was almost too nice. This is
I’m not sure why, but I do find some comfort in his words…
We wait, wait until Saturday…