I’ve just spent three lovely days in St. Andrews By The Sea, New Brunswick, where I relaxed with my ma, Auntie Rae, Will & Kim. It was my only real “vacation” all summer, and I loved every minute of it – see the randomly-inserted photos throughout this post for evidence of fun. While I was there, though, I was reminded that a lot of people were reading my blog, and I’ve been brutal about updating it. So here I am to attempt redemption.
I’ve been at home since I returned from Malaysia, working at lululemon and loving it. I’ve been working like a bandit – and I know that I say that EVERY time, but it’s true. I’m either at work or at yoga, or walking in between. I’ve never felt better, though, and I’ve made some incredible friends there, like Kim, for example.
So I’m happy, despite some challenging changes in my life of late. I’m also being groomed to be a “community leader” at lululemon when Kim goes back to school full time in a week or so. She’s currently in charge of doing all the networking with the local yoga studios and athletes, planning events, and generally getting everyone excited about everything. So I’m totally loving that. (To see what it really means, here’s the link to a video I made about it: http://vimeo.com/6007243 ) So I’m settling in to be in Halifax for the next little while.
But that doesn’t mean that I’m not planning big things. You’re all wondering, no doubt, what’s going on with the Madagascar situation. (So am I! But really…) So, where we left off, I think, was when the Peace Corps (ie. Ryan) left the country. (For details on what Ryan did after leaving Madagascar, check out his amazing photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/ryan.arash.marsh ) It looks like they’re heading back now, in the fall, which is totally great news. It also looks like the leaders may have arranged a power-sharing deal: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/10/world/africa/10madagascar.html?_r=1 . We’ll see how it goes… Anyway, I’ve been in touch with my people at WWF in Switzerland (and, through them, my people in Madagascar), and they’re still keen to have me back in Vondrozo to help out. The problem now is that there won’t be any Peace Corps in the village, and I’d be living alone. I know people do this all the time (duh, PC volunteers), but I’m not really prepared for it right now, especially since the political situation is better-but-not-great, and Vondrozo is so isolated (and I don’t speak Malagasy!). In a way, the isolation is a good thing, because whatever violence and rioting occurred in Tana never really reached Vondrozo. But it also means that I’d be so far away from (for lack of better terminology) an emergency exit, if something did happen. When I was working with other volunteers and the political situation was relatively calm, I felt better about it. You know? They’ve assured me that they’ll take care of me and everything, and I’m still considering if I can make it work, even for a shorter stay. I know that having volunteers really helps WWF to have greater impact.
So that’s the situation at the moment. I know that didn’t really solidify anything for you all, but that’s pretty much where I am right now, too! The original (and amazing) plan was for me to be there untl June of 2010, so I still have a window of opportunity, I hope. Maybe if the power-sharing works for a while, I can plan to head there in the spring. I really do want to get back!
But, in other news, I realized, through many intensive discussions in Malaysia, that I want to be a teacher. I definitely wouldn’t say that I “decided” that I want to be a teacher. I sort of thought about it all of a sudden and felt so relieved that I’d figured out my path. It was such a great feeling, and I’ve been excited about it ever since. I’ve been studying science for all these years and trying to figure out a way to keep it going and make it useful and get another degree, but nothing really thrilled me about any of it. But I’ve been working with kids (and LOVING it) since I was in high school. Camps every summer, nannying my way through university, and volunteering with Toronto Green Community in elementary schools. I mean, I was planning to go back to Madagascar to do environmental education – WITH KIDS. I love it. So this fall I’m going to apply to some places offering Bachelors of Education. I want to teach grade 2-3-4-5, I think. And I definitely want to use that skill set to take me back to Africa as soon as possible. I can use it anywhere, which is the best part. I can travel and do what I love and impact kids’ lives. Exciting, no?
So things are looking up. All over the place. I’m also planning to run my first 10k race in PEI in October!
I promise to update more often. If I haven’t seen you in a while, PLEASE get in touch and say hi. I will love it.