It's Good to be Home!

Trip Start Feb 12, 2006
Trip End May 12, 2008

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Friday, June 30, 2006

June 30, 2006 "It's Good to be Home"

We waited in the fog and darkness with a bunch of luggage, baskets of food and produce, gifts from our travels (coconuts and shells) and a new mattress. At 5:30am we left Moramanga in the morning dawn and headed home. Driving to Anosibe An'Ala in the dawn light is breathtaking. Leaving Moramanga (I will write about this town another time) in the dark hides the filth of the town and the vast areas of deforested land on the outskirts are covered in darkness. However, an hour later, as we arrived close to the Chute de la Mort (Waterfall of Death), the fog was lifting from the river below and rising through the lush rainforest. Periodically the sun would try to break through the thick cloud layer and cast a golden hue over the green, mountainous landscape. Soon the valley we live in was in view; banana trees, harvested rice fields and the roads thick with red, clay mud from the heavy rains.

Our house was just as we left it, except now the squash had yellow flowers, the tomatoes have finally started to grow and seeds were sprouting everywhere. Unfortunately, the constant rain encouraged mushrooms to pop up in between our veggies and our beans are yellow from being waterlogged.

I began unpacking our luggage, while Aaron unloaded the produce (and goodies from the supermarket in Tana). It was good to hear the pitter-patter of the duck feet running by our fence and the honks of geese as they stretch out their necks protecting their fuzzy, newly-hatched yellow goslings from passer bys.

We had to do our rounds of informing our neighbors, the police and other officials that we were home and also visit the market to purchase electrical wiring to install an outlet in our house. We visited the pastor's family because they are holding a kitten (rat-eater) for us and we needed to inform them that we couldn't take her because she would be hard to care for when we left our site. As we walked to the church, we were wondering what the occasion was- there were people everywhere! The pastor came out to greet us and welcome us home in her usual warm smile, where even her eyes twinkle and firm handshake. As we spoke I soon realized what was going on at the church from an image of a young boy that will haunt me for a while. (I won't describe the scene, because I myself am trying to forget it) Circumcision time in the community. We were invited in, but Aaron with his humor told them in Malagasy that he was afraid and they laughed. As we walked home we could hear cries from inside the church and passed many families walking carrying their boys home with shocked looked on their faces and tears in their eyes. (The typical age for circumcision in this area is 2 yrs).

Back at home, Aaron began installing our electric outlet (you don't really need a permit or anything to be an electrician here). He went to ask a neighbor to come inspect his finished work and he came back saying "You won't believe what I just saw- A cock fight!" Okay- way too much blood for one day.

As I was unpacking our clothes I looked up and saw a white girl standing in our yard! About a month ago I received an email from a reader of our travel log. She was coming to Madagascar to collect some bug samples and was wondering if there were any waterfalls in our area and how accessible it was. I emailed her back, told her she was welcome to visit and that we had a few waterfalls. Since there was no reply to the email I had forgotten about it. But here she was at our door, so after getting permission from the authorities and official stamps, we hiked to the waterfall to collect bugs. It was a fun experience and luckily she found some of the insects she was looking for.

Arriving back home around 2:30 we had a late lunch of rice & peanuts and fries with barbecue sauce. Delicious- It was wonderful having a simple meal cooked at home. 3:00- the electric should be on any moment and we will be able to test out Aaron's electrical skills. Success! Isn't he great?!

The rain continued to pour outside, we closed our doors and windows to the gray world and wrapped up in our fleece jackets and sleeping bags to try to keep off the cold, damp winter air.

Just another average day in Anosibe An'Ala.
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