Greetings from Morondava!
Due to a slew of problems installing myself and the other two volunteers in the western part of the country, I find myself with a free afternoon at an internet cafe. The internet is fast enough for pictures, I hope. But it is costing me 100 Ariary per minute. My breakfast today cost 600 Ariary. By the time these are up I will have sacrificed at least 6 breakfasts. Also I'm using a French keyboard. Which is a challenge. Please forgive typos and lack of punctuation as they may appear. Point is....I expect mail from all of you to be on its way. Unfortunately I still haven't opened a PO box...angamba Latsinai (maybe Monday). In Malagasy "angamba" means maybe. But you often say it when really it means no. Same as in America.
Hmm...nevermind. Pictures seem to still be a no go. I will try once more but if not, sorry. Here's an excerpt of an email I just sent to my parents, to give you an idea of why installation is such a fiasco:
Peace Corps Washington has just altered the payment system so our money wasnt deposited to our accounts on time. Then the banks here took forever to process them. I spent 3 hours at the post office yesterday afternoon, was there till it closed; and almost still had to wait till Monday. Customer service is nonexistent here. Luckily I finally got it. Brenda, who we were supposed to drop off near Miandrivazo is still with us because she couldn't get money till yesterday either. We tried to install Shayla today. There is a family living in her house, allegedly getting evicted as we speak. So either she's making a family homeless, or she has to live in a temporary house for a month. Great. I drove though my site yesterday but we didn't stop to do anything. As of site visit I had no shower or latrine...I'd be willing to bet a lot of Ariary that they still don't exist. Also the "president" of Mcar, as well as Jerry Marcoss (biggest pop artist here) are both in Morondava this weekend. Shopping and getting around have been insane. I think I have almost everything I need though...at least to get by for a few weeks. Anything else I'm hoping I can get at my site or do without for a while.