Leaving Tana, heading for Toliara

This will be my last mail for a while. We met our organisation (SAGE) last Tuesday and they told us they wanted us in Toliara/St Augustin as soon as possible. So we are leaving tomorrow; hired a taxi-brousse (minivan style/matatu) and will hopefulyl get all our luggage in…Bretts bag with the surfboards is huge…like 2,5 x 1 x 0,50 meters…and weighs 70 kg. We’ll see how it goes.

We will then be travelling the whole day and hopefully do some stops on teh way. Probably going to pick up a french gilr in Antsirabe, who we met at the hotel and take her along for a weekend in Toliara. The weekend will be fine and on Monday we will meet Jocelyn; the coordinator for SAGE in Toliara. She will then take us out to our house, yes folks, we will have an entire house for ourselves. Two storey building. The catch? No water, no electricity, no furniture. So this is really going to be a challenge. Not just living in a house in an isolated village (google ST Augustin and you will probably stumble across a flight photo of a couple of houses on a beach and some sheds around…thats it!) but also be dependent upon daylight and have limited electricity (looking into buying a generator, matresses and a gas cooker…means I learn new french words every day!). As for the water, the ocean will have to do. And we will surely hire someone, we have the white bias after all, to cook for us and do our laundry. A little comfort for us and some local investment.

Anyhow, the organisation has still not specified what they want us to do. For academic purposes we have to write an Memorandum of Understanding, which is really hard if you dont know what you are expected to do…but they gave us a good first impression and tons of stuff in french to read…we will be just fine. I just think of all the fresh pineapple I will have every morning…and mango season is approaching!!

Leaving in the house will also strictly limit my internetaccess…I would have to go to Toliara, ca 3 hours away I think, and they have frequent power cuts and slow access. So dont worry if you dont here from me in a while, that just means I am ok!

Otherwie…I am still not able to givez you any concrete impressions from Mad. It is totally different from the other places I have been too. I am doing a list at home and I guess I will send it to you to give you a better feeling om my stay here. So far I can tell you that I had a big no-no ice cream today…totally against what you should have, but I still feel fine! Goes for some other fruits and yoghut as well, but I have decided to stay away from the strawberries, that does seem like a too big of a risk. The diary prducts I will cut when I am in Toliara, the power cuts are not exactly good. Will probably swith my diet towards chocolate then! :)

Take care now!

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