Meet the Madagas’gals’

We have officially been together for over 4 weeks. Honestly I can’t believe it has been that long. I thought it might be fun for everyone to know a little bit about this amazing group of women that I will be spending a year with. We come from all over the USA and have different backgrounds but over these last weeks we have shared so much together.  I have loved every moment of it. Here is a little about my friends!

Back row (left to right): Lauren, Rachel, Amy, Serena, Stephanie, Back row left to right: Lauren, Rachel, Amy, Serena, Stephanie, Amanda ** Front row (left to right): Katie, Megan, Krista, Quinn

Amanda

Hometown and/or Schooling: Elgin, IL / National Louis University, Chicago.
Location of work in Madagascar and what you will be doing: Toamasina. I will be teaching in a Deaf school, as well as teaching English clubs at the local Lutheran church. I also have an opportunity to volunteer in a clinic and a differently abled school.
Looking forward to: Leaning a new way of life surrounded in new community. Looking forward to finding clarity in my own life while away from “home” as well.
Favorite Malagasy word: alika (dog)
Fun Fact: I love camping and kayaking

Lauren

Hometown and/or Schooling: Duluth, MN / Wittenberg University in Springfield, OH
Location of work in Madagascar and what you will be doing: Toliara- teaching English/helping out at the Women’s Center, a SALFA maternity clinic, and teaching at a primary school and a blind school.
Looking forward to: Being by the ocean- water is my favorite thing to be near and brings me joy! Also, I’m pumped to embrace the relaxed ways of life and hospitality of my community.
Favorite Malagasy word: Mora mora (slowly)
Fun Fact: On one 4th of July I almost got arrested/fined at the boarder of Bolivia and Chile…for having 3 apples.

Katie

Hometown and/or Schooling: Mooresville, NC / The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Location of work in Madagascar and what you will be doing: Farafangana. I will be teaching English in a variety of places, primarily the Lutheran Secondary School. I will also be working with the teachers at the Blind School, and be spending some time at the Lutheran Primary School.
Looking forward to: Meeting my community and learning more Malagasy! I’m also really excited to do my laundry at the beach.
Favorite Malagasy word: namana (friend) OR famantaranandro (watch)
Fun Fact: I lived in England for 2 months with my family

Krista

Hometown and/or Schooling: Minot, North Dakota / Bachelor of Arts degree from Luther College
Location of work in Madagascar and what you will be doing: Fianarantsoa, English teaching
Looking forward to: Making friends!
Favorite Malagasy word: Haingana (quickly)
Fun Fact: I have a black belt in Tai kwon do

Megan

Hometown and/or Schooling: University of North Carolina- Biology
Location of work in Madagascar and what you will be doing: I will be in Antananarivo teaching English at ILOFAV, the Lutheran women’s center. I will also be teaching English at a Health Clinic to doctors and nurses and working at a printing house!
Looking forward to: Meeting everyone in my community and really feeling immersed in the place I’ll call home
Favorite Malagasy word: Sakakely (kitten) or ranomasina (ocean)
Fun Fact: I love to scuba dive and my favorite animal is a shark

Rachel

Hometown and/or Schooling: Lino Lakes, Minnesota / Graduated from Northern Michigan University with degrees in Secondary English and French Education
Location of work in Madagascar and what you will be doing: I will be teaching English at a seminary, young women’s school, and farming program in Fianarantsoa.
Looking forward to: I can’t wait to explore my new home, meet my host community, and start teaching again!
Favorite Malagasy word: adaladala (crazy or silly)
Fun Fact: I ate a termite in Belize because our tour guide said they tasted like mint (they do).

Serena

Hometown and/or Schooling: Walworth, WI – THE University of Wisconsin – Platteville
Location of work in Madagascar and what you will be doing: I’ll be in Vohipeno working on a farm where students come to learn and practice replicable farming techniques. I will also have the opportunity to teach English both on the farm and at a local school.
Looking forward to: Just getting there! I cannot wait to meet my community, weekend time working with the animals, and practicing my Malagasy! Woohoo!
Favorite Malagasy word: Sakamalao (it means ginger… but I dare you to try saying it without smiling! ?)
Fun Fact: I love reptiles and my best friend is a cat named Benny ?

Stephanie

Hometown and/or Schooling: Mooresville, NC / Bachelors of Science in Biological Sciences, North Carolina State University (Go, Pack!)
Location of work in Madagascar and what you will be doing: Volunteering at the following FLM Ministries in Antsiranana: Deaf School, Toby, SALFA Clinic, and English club.
Looking forward to: Sharing meals with my host community.
Favorite Malagasy word: Asabotsy (Saturday)
Fun Fact: My favorite animal is a vitsika (ant)

Quinn

Hometown and/or Schooling: Portland, OR / Pacific Lutheran University
Location of work in Madagascar and what you will be doing: Teaching English at the primary and secondary school, church, and synod office in Fort Dauphin
Looking forward to: Learning Malagasy and building relationships with my community
Favorite Malagasy word: sakakely (kitten)
Fun Fact: I’ve had ice cream in all of 13 countries I’ve been to.

Me (Amy)

Hometown and/or Schooling: St. Louis, MO / Nursing Degree from Luther College
Location of work in Madagascar and what you will be doing: I will be working at the hospital in Manambaro as a nurse.
Looking forward to: Finding out what medical care looks like in Madagascar and meeting my host family
Favorite Malagasy word: izao tanrolo izao (world)
Fun Fact: As a kid my favorite word to say was deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) all thanks to my Dad who is a biology teacher.

Comments 2

  1. Thanks for sharing all the information about your new friends, that was so much fun to read. Of course I do worry a little bit about your mouth being stuck in a smile. I just don’t think you know how to have a bad attitude. Sounds like this first 4 weeks was wonderful, hope all that are to follow are even better! There is no doubt you will be an amazing nurse for the people in the Manambaro hospital.

  2. Thanks for the bios on the Madagasgals! I know one of them pretty well ;-) (and I must say her favorite Malagasy word is quite fitting) and it is nice to learn a little bit about the amazing women with whom she is on this journey. I pray that each of you arrive safely in your communities and that you are blessed as you accompany and are accompanied by all those you meet on your way.

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