Hello from . . . Antsirabe? I’ll admit, this is not the post I thought I would be writing today. Originally, today was scheduled to be both departure and arrival. I had thought I would have waved goodbye to Lovasoa and Antsirabe. I had thought I would be settling into my new home in Fianarantsoa, perhaps meeting my host family and other people who will be important parts of my year. I had thought all goodbyes would have been said to my fellow Madagasgals. I had thought my first taxi-brousse ride would be in the books. But, surprise! Plans change. All of our departures were delayed at least a day due to problems with a bridge that’s on the road to Fianarantsoa. The five of us heading south by brousse are waiting for the road to reopen and traffic jams to ease up. That could be tomorrow, or it could be next week. Right now, it’s looking like we’re heading out on Monday!
Tomorrow morning, three YAGMs are leaving for Tana, one directly to her site and the other two to await flights at the end of this week. The other two YAGMs are hanging out at Lovasoa until early next week, when they’ll be able to go to their sites. (And the five of us waiting for the bridge will join them in more Malagasy lessons and English tutoring until our departures.) It’s going to be strange splitting up, but I am grateful for the extra day I got to spend with my whole Mada family today.
Am I disappointed? Frustrated? Worried? Nope! Not at all. I know my site will be waiting for me when I get there, and I bet I’ll just grow even more excited the longer I wait. Living in Madagascar is all about embracing a “mora, mora” (slowly, slowly) lifestyle. Nothing is certain. Things change all the time. I just have to be flexible and go with the flow. Everything will work out; it might just not happen on my timeline or in the way I expect. This adaptable lifestyle definitely fits my personality, but, in spite of that fit, this change in travel plans serves as a good reminder that even the things I think are set in stone are not certain. They’re just as subject to change as anything else. Initially, arrival in Fianar seemed like it was the trip guaranteed to work out on time. But it didn’t, and travel plans that originally seemed less certain are the ones working out first. And that’s okay. We’re all going to get to our sites; the journeys might just look different than expected.