Let me get this out of the way.
My wife and I split up a few months ago. She initiated. I needed to find a new job, so I started looking for work in Africa again. I struck gold with a nine-month gig in…
And, no, I did not seek out the farthest place in the world from Flagstaff, Arizona. It just worked out that way.
That ought to explain why most of my posts for awhile will be written from Madagascar.
I will be using this blog to share my non-bike-related experiences with friends, family, and anyone else who finds their way to this blog.
Let’s get on with it.
My job is through a program called Peace Corps Response. Technically, I’m a Peace Corps Volunteer again, but I’m sort of like a subsidized consultant to my employer, an American NGO called Human Network International.
My luggage was carefully weighed and planned to minimize excess charges. I brought a bunch of tech stuff and music stuff. I’m planning on getting a scanner.
When I did Peace Corps in the 1990s, I don’t remember bringing anything that plugged in.
To save space, I vacuum-packed a bunch of clothes. A weird product.
The last several of weeks in America, I seemed to have a heightened sense of taste. Everything tasted fantastic — from fancy food that legitimately did taste fantastic such as Lomo De Puerco En Mole De Almendras at the Red Iguana, to Pei Wei Kung Pao in the Atlanta airport.
And I left North America for the first time in about 14 years. Looking around at the other world travelers from many nations, I remembered the feeling of being an economy-class member of the jet set.
The highlight of my overnight in Johannesburg was getting reacquainted with Castle Milk Stout.
The next day was my three-hour flight to Madagascar, which I spent reading email and stuff. Two-and-a-half hours in, it occurred to me to direct my face at something besides a computer screen.
I was received at the Antananarivo airport by a Peace Corps Driver named Jones. He delivered me to “the Meva” — which is like a one-star hostel for volunteers in town for work or administrative business.
I started meeting my colleagues and experiencing Antananarivo.
I also got a sneak peek at my apartment where I will be living for the next nine months.
After a mere three days in Madagascar, I was sworn in with another Response volunteer named Liz.
That’s pretty much it. I know you were expecting lemurs and stuff, but I haven’t seen any yet.
But I’ll leave you with this:
Today is the day I move into my place.
More to come.
I have previously blogged about Madagascar on Commute by Bike:
Kathy Cano-MurilloSeptember 27, 2014 at 2:51 pm
This is so exciting, I will be following your adventures! You inspire me, really living life to the fullest, taking risks, seeking adventure! God bless and I hope you have a safe and exciting journey over there!!!
Ted JohnsonSeptember 27, 2014 at 6:25 pm
Thanks for your comment, Kathy. Yesterday was a very busy day. I was shopping all day, buying furniture for my house, cooking utensils, other stuff that I need. It was kind of overwhelming. So much haggling to do in a language that I don't speak well. At one point I was slumped in the seat of a Toyota Land Cruiser, with many more things still to do before sunset.I turned to my new friend who was in the car with me, and I said, "I am so glad that I did this."
Chuck CheesmanOctober 5, 2014 at 10:51 pm
How is it going? Vanilla infused rum sounds good.
Have you seen the penguins from the movie yet?