I'm going to Africa

Hi everyone! I dropped off the boards about 6 months ago when my membership ran out. I posted a few times about my Peace Corps applications and wanted to update for anyone who was interested.

I was supposed to leave in September, but I was told that the group I was supposed to be in was full and I was cut from that program. However, a few weeks later I was given an assignment to Madagascar leaving in February. I’ll be an envrionment volunteer and I could not be more excited. I was afraid I would not be assigned, and am glad to still be able to serve and make a contribution to the people of Madagascar. This is pretty much the best assignment ever for me. I’m big into animals and wildlife, and Madagascar has a lot of unique species there. Unfortunately, it also has a lot of poverty and other problems where they needc help.

Any questions? Fire away.


Madagascar is an awesome, awesome place - lemurs, hissing cockroaches, some of the prettiest hiking I have ever seen, AND a genuine pirate island, with genuine pirate graveyard! AND whale sharks come and breed off the coast.

And Peace Corps is awesome as well! I was in Zambia, and while we were vacationing in your soon-to-be home turf, we couldn’t help but compare our little landlocked bastion of no-pirates and no-whales with the awesomeness that is Madagascar. All of the volunteers we met there seemed very happy with their assignment.

Nobody in my group spoke French, but we did pick up a little Malagasy while there - the only thing I remember, spelled phonetically, is “kinden jen.” If you ever need to tell anybody “fuck you,” that is your go-to phrase. (Of course, we didn’t go around telling people to fuck off, bad words are just naturally the first thing you learn in a different language. For me, anyway.)

Congratulations again!


Hooray! I’m due to leave in September as well, and I will probably be going to sub-Saharan Africa on an agricultural assignment of some kind. Wish me luck, and congratulations!

Congrats! You are going to have a great time and a hell of an adventure! Remember that training (and your first month or so at site) is the toughest part and it will just keep getting better from there, although it will never be really easy. Stay tough and it will reward you in the end, in ways you can barely imagine.

I spent two years in Cameroon with Peace Corps, and I’m a few months in to a second tour in China.

If you have any questions for a (perhaps a little bit too) well seasoned PCV feel free to email or PM me.

Came into the thread because you mentioned Africa (hi even sven!), but I know very little about Madagascar.

However I must recommend the Bradt Guide to Madagascar. Hilary Bradt is a bit of a legend in the guide book industry and her guide books often win awards. Madagascar is her favourite country and she’s been travelling there for years. Bradt also publish a wildlife guide to the country.

For full disclosure - I’m writing a guide book for Bradt myself, but I assure you my recommendation is (fairly) objective!

Thanks for the book recommendation. I’ve been thinking about finding a bird guide for the island before I go so I can bird watch. It gives me an excuse to hike slower. :slight_smile:

And yams!!!, you had me at pirate island. Why don’t they tell us any of the important stuff? I will HAVE to check that out. And the whales, that sounds awesome! Yet another reason I’ve been told Madagascar is like the PC jackpot. I was totally prepared to go to Uganda or Cameroon or wherever they sent me, but they mentioned Madagascar and all I could say was “Madagascar, are you kidding? Of COURSE I don’t have any problems going to Madagascar!”

I really don’t know how I’ll deal during training, but I’m not a quitter, so I don’t see myself leaving unless something was really wrong.

Congratulations! I wish I had some good advice, but…I don’t know that my Eastern Europe experience will be super comparable. Oh! Don’t let the Peace Corps bureacracy get you down. I have a feeling they’re a pain in the ass everywhere.

Bulgaria 2006-2008