What a great weekend we had! Open library, public viewing in Djangoa, discovering the forest and hiking in the "mountains". Read about it in our newest post.
Library and Afternoon Classes, June 21/22:
The library activities and afternoon classes on Thursday and Friday were similar to the previous ones. The kids are still very excited about all the new books and enjoy flicking through them. We also read stories in French/Malagasy to them, and some classes enjoy it so much that they won't even let us stop. Cool! In the afternoon classes we repeat the vocabulary of the read stories, hoping that the key words of the books stick to them. Friday afternoon was open library for all the children of Djangoa and again about 65 kids showed up to read books in their freetime. Commitment!
Public Viewing in Djangoa, June 22:
Before going to Djangoa I - Domi - often thought about how I was going to watch the Swiss matches of the football Worldcup 2018. The worst scenario I could imagine was that the people of Djangoa are not interested in football at all and I would have to take a hotel room in Ambanja (45 mins drive) to watch the games. Yep, I really was willing to do that! The best scenario I could imagine was that someone has a TV and all the people gather around it and enjoy the match. And guess what? The second scenario became reality!
Not far from our house there is a family with a screen, providing an openair public viewing to the people of Djangoa everyday. Unfortunately this evening the battery was dead and they already put the TV screen away. But Romeo wanted us to watch the game so bad that he (and Storya/Valentine) somehow managed to find another battery right in time (we only missed 40 seconds). Once again our hero! There were more than 30 people gathered around one small screen and of course everyone supported Switzerland! The atmosphere was great, especially when Shaqiri scored the game-winner in the last minute. A heavy photo session with our new family celebrating with Swiss flags followed. Everyone had so much fun and we are already excited about Wednesday, when the next Switzerland game will take place!
Exploring the Surroundings of Djangoa:
We - Marine, Domi, Sarah, Storya, Romeo, Azaly, and Valentine - headed to the forest parcel that belongs to the family. On the way, we waded through the knee-deep river (it was low tide), making fun of little Marine, whose backpack almost touched the surface of the water.
Wandering through the forest, we saw coffee, banana, pepper, coconut, cocoa, vanille, jackfruit, papaya, and mango trees and plants. Romeo swiftly climbed a palm tree in order to get us some coconuts. They tasted great! We also got to taste fresh cocoa. This time, Domi knew how to eat, or rather suck, cocoa. Well done, Domi! After that we walked in the direction of the sea along the mangroves for several kilometers. We enjoyed a rest from where we could observe the fishers returning from the sea, before we headed back home. We are so thankful that we got to see so much, and are really impressed how well our local "guides touristiques" know the plants, fruits and fish.
Malagasy Language Course:
Having had a rest after our excursion to the surroundings of Djangoa, Storya and Romeo gave us a Malagasy crash course! Who knows, maybe we'll become fluent Malagasy speakers! Romeo also began to learn German and already knows the most importance sentences such as "Guten Tag" and "Ich liebe dich". No problem for him, especially with his new French-German dictionary that we gave him.
We prepared dinner and the next day's breakfast all together - Marine, Domi, Sarah, Valentine, Storya, and Romeo. It was quite interesting to experience how much time cooking requires without electric kitchen utensils. For instance, we were stamping and grinding rice for the mokary, a rice-based pan cake. Putting that much time into food makes one appreciate it even more!
Hiking in the Mountains, June 24:
The morning started off extremely well after a bit of a lie in (until 7:20!) for Domi and Marine (Sarah helped Valentine) and an amazing breakfast of mokary with honey.. Yum!! We then set off to Sunday morning service in the church - where Émilien has preached for over 30 years! Although the service was held in Malagasy we were still able to enjoy the beautiful hymns and songs that everyone sang. After a delicious lunch and a beautiful gift of a wrap skirt/dress from Melissa that turned us into true Malagasy women, we set off for a hike to the mountain next to the village with Romeo and Azaly, with amazing views of the nearby sea (through the mangroves...) and surrounding forest, whilst learning about the local plants and their uses. Great guides! It culminated in a jaw dropping sunset.
What a wonderful day! We can’t wait to start this next week and get back to school and the kids! Especially since it's Madagascar's independence day on Tuesday and whole Djangoa will be celebrating and having fun!
That's it for today! We hope you enjoyed reading. See you soon! June 24, Marine, Sarah and Domi