Talinjoo Hotel, Fort Dauphin, Madagascar

Madagascar – Month Two

YOU GUYS I SUCK. Time moves strangely fast here and I missed posting so many of these. I wrote most of them at the time, so I’m gonna post them all in one go and try to be better in the future… here goes.

So, time flew by and somehow it’s well past my two month mark here! Month two was much
easier than month one, mostly because Gareth was here for such a large chunk of it.

Life in Fort Dauphin, Madagascar

I had two weeks off over Christmas and we mostly hung out around Fort Dauphin, getting to
know the area better, spending so much time at the beach and fancy hotel, working on my tan, sorting my flat, and ringing in the new year. Still struggling to grasp that it’s 2019!

Talinjoo Hotel, Fort Dauphin, Madagascar  Talinjoo Hotel, Fort Dauphin, Madagascar

We found some time to get to Berenty, which was a fantastic way to spend a Christmas so far
from home and in the southern hemisphere. It was incredibly difficult to say goodbye to Gareth
– life here is one million times easier and more enjoyable with him around, but it got easier
quickly knowing we’d see each other in March – less than two months away at the time of
writing this!

Work started back up, and that was great because I really, really enjoy my work here. My job
changed a little bit, instead of being on an HIV project and a WASH project, I’m just on HIV and
then helping to develop strategy for the community health department as a whole. I’m really
excited about the new challenge/opportunity and think it’ll be a great way to develop my skill
set. Also, my HIV project is about 50% funded now! It’s all very, very exciting.

Fort Dauphin, Madagascar

Other than Gareth’s visit, the overarching theme of month two has been illness! I don’t think
the giardia ever really went away, and I spent the break getting sicker and sicker until by the
new year I was properly really quite ill again. That led to another round of being bedridden,
though this time I went to the doctor much earlier so I wasn’t REALLY sick for as long. Before I
even finished the antibiotics for that, dehydration led to a UTI and kidney infection which was
really quite hellish. They don’t have that dye medication that takes away the pain here, so I was drinking loads of baking soda to try to lessen the pain which was semi-successful. The
medication for all of these things made me really sick, so it was just so many compounding
things. I lost a lot of weight and looked like a really malnourished version of myself.

However (and this is more of a month three update), I’m finally (touch wood) healthy!! My
stomach is the best it’s been since I arrived, which is honestly such a game changer. Also, during all of these medical visits I got to know the local doctor here and she is incredibly inspiring and passionate about family planning and contraception, which led to some really interesting
conversations.

AND OF course one of the main events from month two was the Patriots beating the Chargers
in the Divisional round. Luckily for me it was on at the only slot that didn’t keep me up all night (looking at you AFCCG), and we BEAT LA!

Updates from the AFCCG and THE SUPER BOWL will be included in my month three write up,
where they belong. But I have a LOT OF FEELINGS about it, obviously.

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