Ile Sainte Marie - Day 2

Sunday, May 9th


Last year Mother's Day I was on Safari in Botswana, so it's nice to spend Mother's Day with my mom, for the first time in many years probably, since she lives in a different province than I used to.   

I’ll confess, I totally messed up this year. Before I left the office, I googled when Mother’s Day was and I SWEAR it said it was the 2nd weekend in May. Oops. Well, I guess my mom got a kick ass gift. As for the others, an overdue card will be mailed from South Africa when we arrive.

I had a good sleep last night. This hotel has fewer bugs than the last one, which is always a plus.  
We had a nice breakfast and some cute company. These dogs are always too mangy and dirty to pet, but I do love feeding them my breakfast. Or Lunch. Or Supper.
This morning after breakfast we rented bikes and went for an hour long bike ride. I was a bit hesitant because in Toamasina, riding a bike on the roads is asking to be run over or perhaps robbed. Here – it’s a totally different story. Even the poorer houses look upscale compared to Toamasina. It’s amazing what a little tourist money will do. The roads are all paved, most have minimal pot holes, and everything is so well maintained. There is still poverty, but to a much lesser extent.
The streets were even safe enough that I could get in a quick run. I wore my bathing suit underneath my running clothes so that I could jump in the ocean as soon as I was done. (I have this irrational fear and I have to wear sandals when I swim. I'm actually scared that fish are going to bite my toes. I know, I'm special.)
I can't remember what our main meal was, but we had this amazing hearts of palm salad.
And watched the sunset with a Ti-Punch.
My mom is feeling better. I’m feeling a bit more rested but still plan on napping today and tomorrow. Our “adventurous” stuff doesn’t really start until we get to Tana or Diego. Until then, it’s more the resort-life of lying on the beach, sun tanning, and swimming.

My mom has only had one little jumping-scared-of-a-bug session, which is impressive. (It was however the size of a pea). I’m pretty used to the way things work here, so I didn’t even think twice about the transportation craziness of yesterday, and my mom took most of it all in stride. Especially since she was having stomach issues and nowhere near any toilets.

Oh – and we are totally confusing everyone. I’m speaking ½ Malagasy, ½ French; my mom speaks 0 Malagasy and 1/8 French – but it’s obvious we are mother and daughter. The staff is never sure who to talk to or what language but it’s kind of cute. Also, there have been a few miscommunications with the local staff here, and I have to learn to be more patient. It’s not their fault if they are shy, can’t speak French properly, or don’t know the answers to any of my questions. They’re doing their best and I have to remember that. If not just to be a nice person, but to avoid any spitting in my food or drink! (This fits into the whole “patience” thing I’m struggling with lately too).

I’m not sure what the plans are for tomorrow. It’s our last full day here, and I think I’m pretty much okay with beach/swim time.

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