Welcome to Fort Dauphin an island paradise.
So the flight went well, and I am here in Fort Dauphin. Lets start with the negative things. It is ridiculously hot here and I sweat pretty much from when I wake up until I go to bed, it gets slightly comfortable at night time, comfortable as in I sleep with no sheets at all. The heat is killing me, and I also have some nice heat rash to work with. The mission nurse said the best thing to do is to keep it dry, which is hard when you are sweating all day long. So I am also going to go try and find some medicated powder to help with that. But this place is so hot.
Fort Dauphin is a nice little city located on the south eastern part of Madagascar. The infrastructure of this city is nicer than most of Mada and that is because of a mining group called Rio Tinto that owns and operates some mining operations here. They are also trying to help the development of this area. They were able to help make a new port that has increased production in this area. HOWEVER, when the port was opened a lot of inflation happened, and now the cost of living here is much higher than the rest of Mada. For example a 1.5 liter bottle of soda in Tana or Antsirabe is 2600, here in Fort D its 3500. Everything has a higher cost, it isnt extreme, but its enough of a difference that is makes quite a difference. So we find as missionaries it is more expensive to eat here, which means that we have to work harder on budgeting our money here. But unemployment here is still high, and that is because the mining operation that started not too long ago, didnt create that many permanent jobs, just a few so unemployment is still a problem.
There are two branches here in Fort D. The branch I am working in needs some love and attention. It was hard before when there were only two missionaries to work the two branches to focus on both. But now that there are seperate missionaries, it is better for the two branches. We are going to put some nice long hard work into this area to make it ready to really take off.
So we live right on the beach which is really nice. And also one of the church buildings, not mine, is also right on the beach. I will try to send some pics today, but we shall see.
Since we are whitewashing we are trying to get a program set up and we are working to try and find new people to teach. We are hoping within the next few weeks to get a really nice solid program set up and start teaching more people. Right now we are still just working on finding people and figuring out our way around.
Yesterday we ended up on a picnic with a bunch of members out at a waterfall, and then we also ended up building a sand castle on the beach. It was a lot of fun!!
Well until next week.