Sometimes, I just can't say it better myself. This post and the next one are going to be stolen: reposted writings from other Peace Corps volunteers here in Madagascar.
This was written my buddy Vanessa:
-------------------Here is a list of some of the things you can expect out of me after my return from Madagascar.
I may prefer sitting on the floor to sitting in chairs, especially during meal times.
I may be unable to eat with a fork. Certain foods- actually, most- may require the use of a spoon.
I will take extremely long, hot showers, because indoor plumbing is the greatest invention in the universe.
I may stumble over seemingly easy English words or expressions, which might leave you feeling like you're playing a board game. For example: "What's it called... when you wanna sweep the floor... you need to use a... it's got a long handle..." A broom? Yes.
I may not be able to enter your house without taking my shoes off.
I will probably- with or without my knowledge- use Malagasy words as a regular part of my speech. It doesn't mean you're not mahay, it just means some Gasy words stick and have no good English translation.
I may want to dedicate long periods of the day to going on solitary walks or laying on the floor. Don't be alarmed- I don't have a social disorder- I just spent two years living alone in a shack and that's what I've been doing for most of it.
If I talk about being Gasy, or Gasy foods, I mean one s, not two.
Depending on when you see me, I may look like a homeless person. My clothes have been scrubbed by hand, beaten against rocks and dried in the sun for two years, and they're not in very good condition. If you would like to donate your old clothes to me, or buy me new ones, I promise I won't object.
I may use baffling acronyms such as PST, IST, MSC, COS, ET etc. This is a result of working for the US government.
I will have no idea what you're talking about if you bring up news, events, pop culture, TV shows, commercials or trends that occured after February 28, 2010. Please don't be alarmed. It's scary to me too.
I may walk very, very slowly.
I may be overwhelmed and/or frightened by large groups of white people.
I will probably irritate you by greeting you with a statement of the obvious. For example, it's early morning, you're making coffee in the kitchen. Instead of "Good morning!" I might say, "Making coffee?" Or perhaps you're washing dishes... "Washing dishes?" Reading the paper? Drinking tea? It's annoying. I apologize ahead of time.
If you have good bread, olives, wine, cheese and/or apples, you may serve them to me. You do not need to ask if I want them, but you certainly may. The answer will be yes.
I will not want to eat white rice.
I may not have a good answer if you ask, "How was Madagascar?" How would you respond to, "How were the last two years of your life?"