Letters from Madagascar: Life in Fort Dauphin
(Continued from Fort Dauphin: an introduction)
Because of cat calls and other harassment I try to minimize my transit time, which means maximizing time at the places I frequent in Fort Dauphin. The first is Libanona, where classes are held at the Centre Ecologique de Libanona. CEL is located at the very tip of the peninsula, and so is surrounded on three sides by ocean. During breaks and lunch, we sit in the “chill sesh,” a small hut with three walls and a padded bench. If we squish, 10 of the 12 students can fit on the bench. We sit, eat, talk, and watch for whales.
The second place I frequent is the beach right below Libanona. I have started wearing my swimsuit to school, and arriving an hour early to get in a morning swim. I meet up with Ellen, who does yoga on the beach while I swim “laps” and tread water. The beach is beautiful in the morning, before all the sales people arrive to hawk their goods, and when the fishermen are just beginning to arrive from the morning catch in canoes carved into logs.
The third place I frequent is Hotel Kaleta, where I eat croissants and try to get the internet to work. Mainly eat croissants. Getting email to download is a task to begin with, and don’t get me started on the challenges of trying to send emails.
The fourth and final place I frequent is my homestay. This post is already long, and in the interest of breaking this up into manageable bits, I’m going to write a separately about my homestay. It’s been quite a saga.
So, that’s my life here. I wake up at 5 or 6, eat breakfast, walk to Hotel Kaleta, the beach, or class. Class lasts until 1 or 3, with a break for lunch. Then, errands at Tanambao market or internet at Kaleta or swimming at Libanona. At 5:30 I start heading back so I can be home before the sun sets at 6. A dinner of rice, fish, and veggies at 7 or 7:30. In bed by 8. Asleep by 9.
Except tonight. I’m beat, and still want to finish the post on my homestay tonight.*
*More on her homestay next Monday on Letters From Madagascar