This week was the 58th anniversary of Madagascar's independence, Domi's birthday and only little library activities. Have fun reading about it!
The school was on holiday this week due to Madagascar Independence Day. Only the library was open (in the morning) to continue the normal program. However, the kids that showed up mostly did not belong to the scheduled classes, so we had to improvize. We ended up doing individual reading support and reading stories to them. The stories we chose seemed to be suitable for all the kids, aged around 6 to 14. So nope, not a normal library week!
Tuesday was the big day! Some kids of the École Mamiko (and Azaly) performed a dance in front of hundreds of spectators (including the mayor of Djangoa), which had been prepared over the past couple of weeks. The training sessions were completely worth it, as a lot of people donated money for the performance! After the kids from École Mamiko, a lot of other associations had some interesting performances, including traditional Malagasy dances. Luckily Romeo, Storya and Hermann (Storya's and Romeo's brother who will going to stay in Djangoa for the next two weeks as he was on holiday from university) were there to explain to us the different dances and to translate for us the speeches of the local authorities. After 3 hours, the whole ceremony was over and we were totally exhausted (you know, lots of people, almost 30 degrees and 3h of celebration)!
On the 27th it was a special special day... Oh yes, Domi’s 25th birthday!!! We - Sarah and Marine - instead of going running, helped Storya make Mokary doughnut balls for breakfast, which we served with a Godrogodro, a special coconut and rice cake (specially made by Romeo for Domi’s birthday the night before)... Delicious, and what a great start to the day! After library time in the morning, we went back to rest and then got summoned by Romeo to go to the school... For lunch?! What?! But unbeknownst to Domi, the children that had danced at the Independence Day parade the day before had used the money to make and prepare a lunchtime meal and surprise for Domi! And so when we arrived in the classroom, they were all there singing for him. You should have seen Domi's extremely surprised face! We had pasta and a fried bread of sorts that Lisa, Storya, and the kids had helped prepare, and a special treat... cold soft drinks! Wow! They then did the dance routine for him specially, and we ended up dancing all of us, teachers, and children, interns, crazily in the heat! After that we were so hot, and so we had to go home to shower and rest... It was such a touching and heartfelt display, we were all overwhelmed with emotion, which Domi conveyed very well in his speech to the kids and teachers. In the evening, Domi was treated again to a big meal with all the family, where we could only fit to eat all of us on the floor... A delicious meal of beignets macamba (shrimp), a potato salad with homemade mayonnaise beaten by Hermann, and fried bread... Yum!! And finally, we all gave Domi his present... A traditionally Malagasy patterned shirt like Azaly's, and he looks great in it!
That's it for this week! We will spend the weekend on a Cocoa plantation in Ambanja and are really excited about it (and we really hope to get some good chocolate)! June 29, Marine, Sarah and Domi