We finished up our trip with two days on the beach at Ifaty. WARM water, white sand, and heartwarming company as we, who have gone through so much together, were able to relax and play in the Mozambique Channel.
To say it's been an education would be an understatement. So much to process in terms of the lives of the people here and the dynamics of traveling so much and making an impact on so many villages. By the time we got to Ifaty, we were truly exhausted. Images and memories of our adventures swirl around in my head.... hours of driving in deep sand (to Ifaty) with the van getting stuck every 1/2 mile or so....local men who came running out to the car each time to work together to pull us out of every rut (not to mention that it was 90+ degrees with no shade in sight!).......or being stopped by the local "police" who tried to challenge our driver's papers.....that led to an adventure, a call to the Peace Corps head hancho, release for all of us and some form of discipline forthcoming for those "policemen".......or more precious memories like watching the Malagasy kids swarm around Joan and laugh and screech as she took pictures of them and showed them on her camera......or swarms of kids surrounding nathan trying to talk to him and him having learned enough Malagasy to ask them their names, share his name and tell them where he was from. And, of course, sitting on rock watching baby lemurs wrestle and leap over each other in play.....going a long 1.5K walk in desert that looks like NM but with different trees and ending up at a natural swimming pool where most everyone jumped in for a swim (the waterfall water was warmer than the pool, YUM!)
....the strongest memory for me, though, is getting to spend two days living in one of the villages....I really got a feel for their daily life. That's probably more than you wanted to hear, but it's so nice to be back on a computer, "speaking" english and touching base with all of you back home.