Sunday, September 02, 2007

Back in Mad Land by Nicola Jane Barratt

More writing by Nicola Jane Barratt sent from Madagascar

been back 2 weeks now and have adjusted quite well -
the journey here was almost uneventful - small glitch in that i
accidentally booked both flights for the same day so that when we
arrived in Paris, our flight for Tana had left the day before -
whoops! - lucky for us, the US ambassador and his family had missed
their flight to Paris and we took their seats on the flight to Tana
(you'd think we'd all understand the flying thing a bit better by now,
wouldn't you!!) - when we arrived, after our 19 hours of air time, we
were the last ones off the flight, not unusual except that we were
actually seated right next to an airplane exit, and a flight of stairs
had been pushed up next to the door - the steps were only a meter
from our seats but alas, this is Madagascar and the door leading to
the stairs was never opened - communication error??? electrical
error??? finally we were told that the lights were not working near
that exit .... hmmmm... lights? what lights? who knows? (half our
luggage didn't make it so we were the last ones out of the airport
anyway .....(F____ the french and their airline!!!!))

and then you come down the steps into the Malagasy night and your nose is filled with the smell of cooking fires, the streets are dark and quiet, and you know you are back in Africa (sort of).........

but back at home is mostly great - i love my huge (but standard)
european bath tub, even more, i love the lady that keeps it sparkling
clean. i love the seemingly endless supply of hot water from our 100
gallon hot water heater, that someone else pays the electric bill for.
and the other lady who takes care of the children so i can take a long
hot soak. i love coming home from work to the smell of dinner
cooking, with always enough leftovers for lunch tomorrow. i love when
the children are happily ensconced in their classrooms with their age
appropriate activities and professional educators!!! i love that
there are coaches who occupy the older children with round objects
until 4:30 pm and that this will continue until December because it
never rains until then. i love that the phone never rings (never mind
it's because i've had to unplug it so i can plug the space heater in
to the only electrical outlet!). the stove blew up and we lost all
the electric for a while but the internet appears to be working quite
well!!! more soon, love and kisses, nikki

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