“One People, One Drink.” Manakara, Madagascar. March 2013.
The definitive list of candidates who meet the required eligibility conditions was issued by the Special Electoral Court (CES) on Friday at 12:15p.m. Surprisingly, the name of de facto President Andry Rajoelina is on the list of approved candidates. The Candidacies of former First Lady Lalao Ravalomanana, former President Didier Ratsiraka, and former Prime Minister Camille Vital were also approved by the CES. All in all, there will be 41 candidates who will be allowed to run for the upcoming elections.
^^^ This seems a little daunting, but I’m hoping the elections go down without any major incidents. Elections have been pretty serious issue for Peace Corps Madagascar in the past. Keeping my fingers crossed
Being a lesbian has neither helped nor hindered my Peace Corps experience here in Madagascar primarily because I don’t talk about it with people in my village. Homosexuality, although visible here, is not discussed and is heavily ‘taboo’, so I choose not to divulge my sexuality to my village in order to make my life easier and to respect their culture. However, I have chosen to entrust a few of my close Malagasy friends with this knowledge and have been pleasantly surprised by the outcome. I first made sure that I trusted them and made an educated guess as to what their reaction would be. Ultimately, the two I entrusted were primarily curious. They asked a lot of questions about whether being gay is accepted in America, , if it was real love, if I thought God was okay with it, etc. I just explained to them how I felt about it, and in the end, they thought no differently of me, and because Malagasy people put a lot of weight on personal relationships, chose to accept me regardless of my lifestyle.
As far as my experience within Peace Corps is concerned, among volunteers, I have experienced nothing but acceptance and the open-mindedness one would expect from a Peace Corps volunteer. I also have experience no adversity from the staff, but because the staff is largely Malagasy, I don’t discuss it much with them in order to remain respectful to their cultural beliefs. Although, I do suspect that the majority of them would have no problem breaching this topic with me, especially because of the new “Safe Zone” initiative that has been enacted by Peace Corps.
Ultimately, it is a little strange to be “back in the closet” in my village, but I personally find that the support I receive from my fellow volunteers and the staff helps to alleviate stress related to masking that part of my life.
Here in Madagascar. Not much to report on yet, but the “safe zone” is up and active here in PC Mada, and my first course of action involves writing a letter in the welcome book on my experience as a lesbian in PC Mada. Really excited for this! I will keep ya’ll updated as things progress!
Dedicated solely to quotes from books I’m reading while I’m in Peace Corps. (I have a lot of time to read books). If your into it, follow me.
The URL is: http://theliteraturearchaeologist.tumblr.com/
The name of it is : “That’s What (s)he Said”
Get at me, punks.
Letting go of the past
In 1961, President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps to promote world peace and friendship.
The Peace Corps’ mission has three simple goals:
- Helping the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
- Helping promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
- Helping promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.
Visit http://www.peacecorps.gov/ to find out how you can help the global community!
(via travelnerd)Source: allons-y-mon-cheri