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Showing posts from July, 2010

I lost my number...can I have yours???

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The compound I live in has a men:woman ratio of about 50:1.

Although some of the guys act like...creepers, I have yet to get a cheesey pick up line -not that I want one - I'm just a little surprised.

On to the story...Before I moved here, a few of my family gave me some rocks....to have a Canadian rock garden allll the way in Madagascar. (I had to move them to my window sill because the groundskeepers thought they were garbage.)

I noticed something today in my rock garden...that I hadn't seen before.

Here's the window leading to my room. Looks the same at first...

... but... look a little closer...
Doesn't one of those rocks look a little different?
The one with the writing?


It's a local phone number!!! Officially the best, most inventive pick up method. Nice work. I am truly impressed. This guy deserves some props, and if I find any single ladies looking...I'll be sure to...pass the rock on.

I’m cranky. For Now.

Yesterday and today, I’ve been in a cranky funk. (And no, it’s not my moon time, thanks.)

A combination of...not sleeping the greatest earlier in the week; a lack of motivation to work out; having new things at work (and yes, good things, but it can sometimes be more challenging then I had thought)... Oh, and listening to LOUD, BANGING construction ALL DAY LONG in my new office....is wearing on me.

I’m less patient, less seeing the good things, and less...well... no, MORE CRANKY! (I know, it’s soooo hard to believe such a nice person such as myself would ever get cranky. Ha!)

It is always interesting how whenever I have more than one... crappy day, I’m almost instantly panicking about the future possible crappy days. CRAP!! Maybe I’m not going to make it as an expat and I’ll have to move back to Canada like next month and then who knows what the hell I’ll do!!

How about... I’m just having a crappy day?
I work 12 hours a day, live in a foreign country, eat/sleep/work with the same people ev…

Favorite Pictures

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Nothing really to say lately.....just wanted to post two of my absolutely favorite pictures that I re-found over the weekend...

I think it's time for another village tour.

Sun-of-a-beach

My national co-workers are all taking English language classes during the week. They are all at different levels, some very good, some not so.

Last weekend, at the staff party at Datsahra Village, we were joking that we would have a "Miss Beach" contest. At the time it was funny, but not as funny as today when one of my national co-workers, who is very proud of his progress (so am I), comes and says good morning to me.

(spelled pheonetically with his accent).

Goude Moore-neeng Mees Bitch.

I said, Pardon!!??? (a la Champ, perhaps?). It took me more than a second to remember the “beach contest”. All I hear is him calling me a b*tch.

He repeats it again, I take a minute, and it sinks it.

Yes, I may be a b*tch at times.....but thankfully, he's not calling me one...

I try to explain to him how to pronounce “beach” and try to explain why I’m laughing at the explanation.

I tell him “b*tch” is a bad, bad word and he can’t say it.

He laughs, but then comes back a few minutes later.

In Fren…

Decreased Growth Forecast

Madagascar cuts 2010 growth forecast to 0.8 pct

Consumer prices on the world's fourth largest island are expected to rise by 9.7 percent compared to an earlier forecast of 13.7 percent. This is due to a good rice harvest and stable rice prices on the international market, the statement said.

Foreign diplomats fear Madagascar could be shunned abroad if President Andry Rajoelina fails to deliver free and fair elections after he overthrew former leader Marc Ravalomanana following weeks of deadly protests in March last year.

A referendum on constitutional reform initially slated for next month has been indefinitely postponed.

Ravalomanana opened Madagascar's doors to major foreign companies keen to exploit its oil, nickel, cobalt and uranium deposits, and overseas investment surged to around $1.47 billion in 2008 from $86 million in 2005. Analysts say inflows collapsed during last year's crisis, but by how much is not clear.

The European Union, the island's largest donor, is de…

Just a typical golfing day...

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A foursome, with a mix of golfing skills: Some better than others.... Helpful golf staff Caddies carrying your bag, drink, camera, and clubs Some not-so-great weather on a shoes-optinal course
Fashionable golf attire
Snake-skin body used to throw at people for entertainment
Drinks after the game: "Friendly" discussions and golf-trash-talk after the game...
Looks basically like a game of golf in Canada, no?

Thanks, Moose!

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When I first arrived in MG, the awkwardness and shyness of my national co-workers was brutal. I'm new, I'm one of five expats in our department, a giant, light hair, light eyes, and a girl. I'm sure I looked interesting.

Each morning, as I walked to my office, most of my co-workers would keep their heads down or shyly glance up as I passed by. Combine that with my...new expat state (i.e.: scared shitless), I wouldn’t say hello to them either. I would just let them stare at me...walk by...and say nothing. This wasn't going to help the situation...

I learned the Malagasy phrase of, Manaona, Il voe voe. (I’m sure that I brutalized the spelling, but it means, simply, Hey, what's new?).

After a few days of timidly walking past the uncomfortable stares, I started to say Manaona, Il voe voe, to ANYONE AND EVERYONE. Surprised, my co-workers started to see that I'm not the big cranky scary monster that I looked like.

Some of the my braver co-wokers would teach me a word…

New mediation talks...

I don't suspect this will change anything.. but it's been awhile since we've had some news ....Chief mediator in fresh Madagascar peace bid

Click here to read about more MG News

When I grow up...

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...I want to be an accoutant and work in an office in the jungle?!?
Today, I forgot my rain jacket at work. Mother Nature decided this would be a good day to have torrential downpour. I improvised with my safari hat and a running jacket. Seemed to work!

Also got the great news this morning that I'm dog/housesitting a different couple's house in a couple of weeks. Very excited and won't be cooking anything this time!!

Sur-REAL-ity

In point form, here is how I spent my evening last night:Leave work a few minutes early because the construction noises are so loud in my new office that no one can hear each other talking. Drive to new spa. Spend 25 minutes driving on roads so bumpy that I nearly pee my pants. Wait 15 minutes for massage. Entertain myself with my ridiculously cool iTouch (Seriously. It is amazing) Undress. Feel uncertain about how far I should undress. There is a robe. Should I use it??Wonder why (western) Canadians are so prudish? Lie buck on the tableFeel uber exposed. Get 60 minute massage. Enjoy the 45 minutes of the 60 minute massage. Spend 15 minutes convincing myself that the new massage therapist (?!?) will not touch my goodies and will not try to give me a happy ending. Pay $15 CDN for massage .Get into car. Head back to summer camp. Listen to ABBA. On an Island. In middle of the Indian Ocean. Listen to my driver singing ABBA. On an Island. In the middle of the Indian Ocean. Realize that I’m…

Pictures of This Weekend

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Not really feeling like writing lately... but I had a such a fabulous weekend and it's been awhile since I've put any pictures up. So here goes....

Friday night - no pictures, but started out nice watching a movie with a boy that I like. (!!!)

Saturday - It was up early for a "Finance" party at Datsara Village. We got into town and waited for the bus...(can you guess which one is me!?)


(that left 1h15min late. Gotta love MG time....)

The bus ride sounded fun, everyone was laughing and having a good time and cracking jokes...unfortuanately my malgasy isn’t good enough for me to understand what the hell was going on...so I just appreciated the background noise and scenery... We arrived at Datsara Village about a half an hour later.
I was ready to hit the beach! In Canada, every second person asks me if I play volleyball or basketball. It is probably one of the most annoying things about being tall. No, I don’t play either. If you want to know why, you can ask for the v…

A full weekend

Nothing beats a FULL weekend!

I work Saturdays to account for the time off I get every six weeks. Not that bad of a deal, but sometimes only having one day off a week gets a little tiring.

Not this weekend!!

Today, we had a "team bonding" Finance party at Datsarah Village - where I went to almost a year ago. There was dancing, beach volleyball, dominos (yes, dominos), kareoke, and kayaking. It was a full day and accountants sure know how to party!
One of my favorite moments was singing kareoke to a cheesey love song with a co-worker while pretending to look dreamily into each other's eyes! We put on a good show...and maybe, I'm starting to fit in here!

Tomorow is golf and a bbq. Awesome weekend!! Be back soon with pictures and a less lame of a post!

Vanillatile Markets

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Super Quick Morning Post

I've been far busier and more tired than I had thought and haven't had a chance to post about my day in Paris or return to MG. I just have time for a quick random update before I walk to work. That's right!! I've changed offices and now get to walk to work instead of calling four people to try and find a ride every day.

The day in Paris was not what I expected... a super cranky cabdriver (that got lost); me going to three different hotels before I found the correct one then realizing that I don't have enough time to do squat so I just napped; then trying to figure out how the hell to get back to the aiport; then the airline didn't want to let me fly to MG because my visa expires soon; then having to stand it line at security with a bunch of rude French people. I know a lot of people from France that aren't complete jerks...so I can't say they are all like that... but man...it seemed like every person I ran into was a complete rude loser. I'm sure it …

Fly-By Sappiness

I’m currently on the flight to Toronto…the first of FOUR flights to get back to my MG home.

(A random fact….in 2010, I have spent 65% of my time in MG, 22% of my time in other countries, 6% of my time in Canada, and 7% of my time in airports and airplanes? No wonder my body gets a little confused!)

I wasn’t able to have my bags checked all the way through to Madagascar (and I’m sure they weigh over 100 pounds or something ridiculous) and I’m in Paris for ten hours, so I’ve decided to rent a hotel room for the day. This well planned idea came to me about ten minutes ago, so hopefully I’ll be able to find a cheap, non-gross hotel near the airport and then take some kind of tour bus around town (or something equally as touristy).

Anyway…just a quick-see-ya-later-post with some (possibly wine induced) sappiness (but much less than the extreme sappinessfrom just under two weeks ago).

Last night I had to say the last of my goodbyes and it went….well…it went. Even though this time I’ll be back i…

I'm kind of a BABY....

...when it comes to goodbyes...

As much as I needed to come home, and as happy as I am, I certainly don`t miss the goodbyes.

I have NEVER been good at the distance-goodbyes-thing.

When I was 18, my parents moved to British Columbia. The first two years that we were living in different provinces I would cry like a BABY the entire airplane ride home (yes, I looked pathetic!). My parents and I were separated by a very short 1.5 hour plane ride; I saw them every few months; and we spoke on the phone a few times a week...but I just hated the goodbye part and could never get used to it.....

Finally, after going through the years of gut-wrenching goodbyes, we came up with the "Stop-drop-and roll" idea. My parents would drop me off in the departures parking zone; barely slowing down to a stop, chuck my bags, and say a super quick goodbye, and then leave. I`m not sure which one of us came up with the idea, but THANK GOODNESS we did because if not I think ten years later I would still…

Election Postponed

Happy Canada Day!!!

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Happy Canada Day to all of my Canadian friends!!!