My five days in the village were great. I went to most of the villages and each one of them is different. In one village they work together, in another there are a lot of kids. Each village has their own personality and own way of life. From the market, to the school, to even given a baby fruit, has made me a better person. I look at all different aspects of life. My favorite experience out of all the experiences was at the school. Seeing the kids’ faces light up when Voahangy was talking. This makes me want to do what Dr. Voahangy is doing: “go back to where you came from, the place that made you who you are”. If I could do that every day I would. I know out of all the days I was here, just saying the school made me happy is awkward, but little children, I know makes everybody happy even the ones that dislike children. When you talk to the kids and see their faces light up just by giving them something small like pens and pencils really shows how appreciative they are made you feel good. I am sad that I’m leaving so soon. I could really get used to this. When you are on top of the mountain you see this wonderful view of a whole new life. A life that some people would never want to live. A life that we Americans would call being poor. This life is actually less complicated than our own lives back home in Chicago. I can get used to being here and live how they are living. It’s a new world with new possibilities when you come here. Being here would make anyone happy. If you come here you can free your mind and think, think of whatever you want. My experience was not only a lifelong experience, but life changing. You become a whole new YOU! What continually made me smile was Voahangy’s housekeeper Nivo. She always had a smile on her face and was a help us with whatever we needed help with. I joked that if she spoke English, I would steal her and take her to the U.S. A lot of things here would make you happy, better yet they would put smiles on you faces that would you never want to leave. I honestly, truly from the top of my heart say I had the time of my life in Madagascar!
Dr. Chap wrote:
“ Jayla, I am happy to contributed to this your experience. I enjoyed having you here and seeing your transformation every day. I love especially was much impressed by your dedication, discipline, and easy going demeanor. I do sincerely hope that you can take some of this experience home and use it to your own personal growth and in your community. Jayla it’s been a real pleasure to have you here. I have learned a lot more about myself, my work, and my own childhood listening to you talk about your family, your relationship with your “Gramps” your friends, and finally your dedication to your studies and determination to succeed. Your goal to becoming a journalist is achievable and you have already moved several steps closer to this goal. I hope to continue to be in available in your life and to provide any advice support, and mentoring necessary to get you to the promise land.
Chap Kusimba, Andaobato, Madagascar July 31, 2011