Africa · Madagascar · Peace Corps · The Nomadic Life

Getting Books For Madagascar

It’s been awhile.

The introduction of any guilty blogger who has gone off and done something other than tinker with the internet for a too-long period of time. For the past month or so I’ve been teaching, biking, and taking the occasional day trip to Antsirabe for a decent cup of coffee or beer and getting into the groove of a more settled daily-weekly routine.

And then, the other day, something snapped. Maybe it’s the explosion of endorphins thanks to a huge file of workout videos a friend gave me, or maybe I’ve just hit that mythical point in a Peace Corps Volunteer’s service where we start to feel less confused and more confident in our places in our communities. A point where you ramble off a string of curses in your 2nd, 3rd, or 4th language at the local bus driver for trying to charge you 50 cents more than he should without batting an eye. A point where stuff is happening. A point where I find myself craving rice, beans, and tangerines… not bagels and coffee. Out of seemingly nowhere, I feel settled.

To add on to this confidence that “stuff is happening,” 17 fellow PCVs and I finally got approval from Peace Corps Washington about a project to bring in a whole shipping container (that’s literally, TONS) of books and 16 computers. The crate sits in the states waiting for us to raise enough funds (roughly $20,000, of which $4,000 has been raised in the past week) to cover the international and domestic shipping and customs fees. Some of us are building libraries and instating librarians for the occasion. The books that end up in my town will go to the already running English Center, which presently has one bookshelf full of the novels left behind by previous PCVs and an OK collection of textbooks. The hole I’m trying to fill is our lack of childrens books like Dr.Seuss, Where The Wild Things Are, or even an English version of the simple but captivating The Little Prince. What I hope is that once the donations arrive we can have story time or run a competition to see who can read the most books; essentially to create a love of literature so rarely cultivated and in existence in the developing world.

I adore books and if you do too, why don’t you throw a couple dollars our way, pass the word to friends, or take a few seconds to tweet about it? Donate Here.

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