I had a terrible sleep last night. So much for that ‘soothing, ocean waves thing’. But nonetheless, it was so nice to be able to wake up and do yoga on the beach. The sky was so clear and the pink horion slowly turned to blue. My inner ‘yogi’ is totally coming out.
Lots of classroom session’s today. The classroom is in the blue building, called Nosy Cao. I learned everything from how to breath to setting up my dive equipment. Hopefully I will be getting in the water tomorrow to do some REAL diving! Yay! I’m only slightly nervous about purposefully submerging myself 12m deep in water. These are good nerves…right?
Today we had a Malagasy lesson (the national language of Madagascar) and learned a lot of words and phrases… basically all I got out of it was ‘Salama Iaby’. This means ‘Hello Everybody’. (‘Salama’ = Hello). The purpose of these Malagasy lessons is to learn some words to be able to somewhat communicate with the people in the village as well as with the families we will be having dinner with for a couple nights. In return, the volunteers are to teach english to assigned Malagasy staff of Blue Ventures. One very unique aspect of Andavadoaka is that the language they speak here is a combination of Malagasy (the National language), and the local tribe language called Vezo. Literally no where else in the world speaks this language.
Later in the evening we met with the Nahooda’s (elders). It was intended to be a ceremony where the Nahooda’s welcome the volunteers or Vaza (visitors). They gave an incredibly heartfelt welcome speech in their beautiful language and I didn’t understand one word of it. However, his tone was incredibly genuine, and his warmth was felt by all. I have already felt so welcomed by this community and it is very apparent that the Vezo people are very happy to have us here. After the wonderful welcome speech we all raised a glass, of THB beer or fanta, and danced with the Nahooda’s. Slightly awkward, but very fun once the children joined in. Did I mention this was in one of two bars in the village? I have been quite surprised by the amount of drinking that goes on in this village. It’s just as big a part of their culture as it is ours.