Tonga soa! Welcome!
I assume that most of my readers are friends and family that already know a little about me, which makes introductions pretty easy. If that is not the case, welcome to my blog and nice to meet you! I am a true Southern California man; raised on the outskirts of Los Angeles county and I earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from San Diego State University. I fully admit to being spoiled by exceptional year-round weather and all the advantages of good food and fun people. It was during my time at university when I began to understand that there is much more to this world than the small familiar areas I call home and there are billions of people in this world that I can learn from. My curiosity of culture and interest in community development began to blossom, which has brought me to where I am today: Madagascar.
I am a Peace Corps Volunteer serving in the southeastern African country of Madagascar since June 2014. In September 2014, I began living and working in a Malagasy community located in the northeast part of this island. My primary assignment is to teach English as a foreign language (TEFL) in public schools. I also work on secondary projects within my community, mostly focused on youth empowerment through English literacy and developing the skills of local English teachers. While the minimum commitment of service in the Peace Corps is 27 months, I have chosen to pursue a one year extension of service starting in September 2016. During this additional time in Madagascar, I will serve as a liaison with other Volunteers, host country supervisors, and Peace Corps staff members.
My favorite part of being a PCV is the opportunity to share cross-cultural experiences. I’ve learned so much about my host country, and the rich cultural heritage of its people, through social events, food, music, dance, and listening to people tell their stories. With that comes the opportunity to reflect on my own culture and worldview through a new perspective. I also enjoy the challenge of adapting my skills to the needs of my community. My journey in Madagascar is about bridging the cultural divide to build a stronger global community by combining my enthusiasm for travel and my interest in helping others.
I have created this blog as a means of communicating with readers before, during, and after my Peace Corps service. My goal is to show you Madagascar in the most accurate and respectful way that I can. It’s such a pleasure to be able to use this medium to share my adventure with you. I hope you enjoy reading this blog as much as I enjoy writing it.