Hey everyone! After 7 weeks in Djangoa it's time to say goodbye! Read about Sarah's and Domi's (and Pascal's) last week in Djangoa in the following blog post!
Writing the letters:
For the last week we had one big goal: answering the letters from the students of the Swiss International School (SIS). The plan was that every 5th grader writes his/her own letter. But as all the public teachers in Madagascar have been on strike for more than two months now, there are about 5 secondary school students (mostly former students of the École Mamiko) who asked if they could attend our afternoon classes as well, since they are eager to go to school. While the secondary school students wrote their letters more or less on their own, the 5th graders needed a lot of help. We helped them getting ideas about what topic to write (family, plants/food in Djangoa, preferred book/game/school subject, etc.) and helped them constructing the sentences. Although the students couldn't really do it on their own, we were still pretty happy how it worked out. When we arrived in Djangoa 7 weeks ago, the students did not understand us without Storya or one of the teachers translating into Malagasy. But in the last week we managed to have each of them write a letter in French (almost without any translating) that they seemed to understand. We are quite proud of them! Of course the letters were then decorated with beautiful paintings (mostly Swiss/Malagasy flags) and are now ready to be brought back home to the SIS students. Cool!
With the younger students we continued our normal program (reading stories at the library in the morning, and repeating the vocabulary in the afternoon classes). Thursday afternoon we received "un petit cadeau" from Azaly and his dancing crew, when they performed their dances for the last time for us. This was fun!
On Friday Sarah and I - Domi - went from class to class to say goodbye and take one last photo with the kids. Especially with the 5th graders this got a bit emotional, as we like them a lot, after spending so much time with them. Sad! But we promised everyone: we will come back to Djangoa! Thanks for the great time and à la prochaine!
Saying goodbye to Monsieur Émilien's family:
Within the 7 weeks that we - Domi and Sarah - stayed in Djangoa, we did not only pass a good time with the students and teachers of the École Mamiko, but also with the family of M. Émilien. We've got to know them quite well, chatting and passing time together while going running, preparing and eating meals, playing cards, and getting to see the whereabouts of Djangoa. So Domi and I - Sarah - were excited to help preparing our goodbye dinner for 22 (!) family members (including Nina, Nati, Pascal, Domi and Sarah). There was plenty of food to prepare: a salad with green mangoes, buan tam (bread-like sticks based on rice flour, rolled in banana leafs, grilled on the fire), fried shrimps, fried dough, fried bananas, and fried sweet potatoes. Valentine, Storya, Romeo and Mélissa were the chefs and Domi, Pascal, Nina, Nati and Sarah were their assistants. Great teamwork that turned out to be a very delicious dinner! With full bellies, Domi and I - Sarah - thanked every family member for everything they've done for us during our stay - having nice chats at the window every time we passed by, always eating such nice food, and having a good laugh so many times. They've become a second family!
Having already listened to Malagasy music while cooking and eating, and Azaly being there too, it was clear that we were gonna dance. Playing the songs of the École Mamiko's dance, Nina, Pascal, Domi and I - Sarah - tried our best, to the entertainment of Valentine, Mélissa and Melchiad. Obviously, we were (very!) minor dancers next to Azaly, Chaïra, Willyana, Lisa, and Storya! We danced and laughed - we really enjoyed our last evening with the family before heading off to travel towards the South of Madagascar.
With this blog entry, Domi and Sarah are saying goodbye to you - the Boky Mamiko blog readership. Thank you for following our experiences at the École Mamiko in Djangoa! But of course we also want to thank some other people: first of all, a very big thank you to Geneviève and Rossana, who are the passionate founders of Boky Mamiko and who enabled this whole project! Further, we would like to thank Lisa (the school director), Storya (the librarian) and all the teachers for the collaboration that enabled setting up the library to work out! Also a big thank you goes to Gene's family (especially Valentine - Madame délicieuse), who made us feel at home from the first week onwards. And last but not least, we would like to thank all our donors, the kids that collected the books, and various organizations that supported us along the way! Thank you!
That's it from our side. We're sure you're gonna enjoy reading about the holiday programme that Nati, Nina and Storya are running. Keep updated!
August 3rd, Sarah and Domi