Ile Sainte Marie - Day 1

I sort of have internet this afternoon so I let some pictures upload while I napped at the pool. I'm just finishing off a glass of champagne and then my mom and I are going to walk the beach. We are now in Morondava, which faces the Mozambique Channel. (I wonder if we'll see any pirates!!)

Here's my would-be post from my second day travelling and my first day on Sainte Marie Island.

Saturday, May 7th.

I had a great night last night at La Pirogue. Actually, it wasn’t that great because I’m fighting off a sore throat (um, thanks, Friend for that! :P). I’m still winding down from work.


My mom is getting the full Malagasy experience – lost luggage for three days, a wake up call to kill a poisonous bug, and has now had to take Cipro. For those non Malagasy residents – Cipro is the white man’s miracle drug. After 24 hours of… uhhh….severe bathroom issues – you take this drug and within a few hours you are feeling *almost* brand new. (My mom’s still waiting…but she’s getting better.)

We left La Pirogue around 7h30 for a two hour taxi brousse ride (which translates to bush taxi), and then it was onto the boat.

We actually had to clear customs which was a process. For some reason because my mom's not a resident, we had to go to three different places to have her passport number and name written down. On a paper general ledger book. What happens with this book? I think nothing. What would happen if we just skipped the line and didn't fill it out? Again, I think nothing. Anyway.
 My mom wasn't too sure about the boat thing. Being on a toiletless boat with thirty sweaty locals (and a few roosters) when you have a bad stomach isn't always a fun time.
But the scenery was nice.
We were greeted at the port by fifty or so taxi drivers, children asking for candy, and just general crowds gawking at us. I found the sign for our hotel quickly and we got in the pre-arranged transportation.

What apparently hadn't been pre-arranged was putting fuel into the taxi. We almost made it up a hill....but didn't, so our taxi driver went running to get some gas. This is pretty typical, but never stops being funny.
And then we got to our hotel. I may have heard angels singing. I have always thought Madagascar to be incredibly beautiful - but I have never seen a sight like this in Madagascar.
Of course a self-photo was required.
And then I had to go over to the rock and try to climb it. Unfortunately, I have good ideas like this pretty often.
At this point I thought about continuing to climb, but I looked down, and then chose to live instead and slowly climb back town.
Oh, and take another picture of myself, of course.
And go for a nap in our bungalow that we're renting for the next few days.
I let my mom have the big bed this time and I took the single. I slept really well the first night. BUT THE FIRST NIGHT ONLY (more to come on that next post).
For lunch, we were offered a few options and chose a hard boiled egg on green papaye salad.
Coconut crab which was very messy but good!
And an ice cream-like dessert. Madagascar doesn't actually have ice cream (unless it's imported). I'm not sure if it's the type of milk or what, but it never has like the consistency of ice cream. Didn't stop me from eating the entire thing. :)
We went and layed out in the sun a bit longer and just relaxed.
And then it was supper time again. Same egg and green papaye salad (not complaining - it was just that good that we ordered it again).
And I can't remember what I had for a main course, but we had this cool carved pineapple dessert. If you can't tell by my pictures...it was just a little bit humid that night!
Unfortunately, even with all this beautiful scenery and fun times, I'm thinking way too much.

It’s amazing to me that even though I’m on vacation, I work pops into my head far too often, I guess part of that’s natural… given the situation….but I keep going over what went wrong or how I could have done things differently. There is perhaps one person that doesn’t think highly of me – and regardless of the thirty other people that appreciate my work - I seem to be fixated on this one opinion. I go over and over the sequence of events to see when or where this negative opinion began – and that’s just plain (sorry) BULLSHIT. If I’m going to find a job here, I have to discount the ONE negative opinion and focus on the work that I’ve done, the positive support I’ve had from all different levels in the organization and just continue to do my best. I’ll never make everyone happy, but I certainly can make myself happy.

So, my goal for today – is just to forget. Forget about work. Forget about the uncertainty of things in my life. Life is weird and unpredictable, and I have enough good things and enough back up plans and back up to my back up plans, that whatever happens, I’ll certainly be happy.

And in the meantime? I’m freaking travelling Madagascar! I’m talking French and Malagasy to the staff and taxi drivers, I’m getting a sun tan, I’m drinking Ti-Punches – regardless of whatever happens in the next few months, I have three weeks of complete awesomeness to enjoy. Work will be there when I get back. And I’ll be better prepared to deal with it after a restful and adventurous vacation.

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