Taken around Thanksgiving time, these girls were part of the dear family I lived with during my time in Madagascar. Although they didn’t seem to have a lot, they were always joyful and thankful, and seeing this photo reminds me again that we should not be any different.
Wishing everyone in the States a wonderful Thanksgiving week!
Meet little Mialy, Mia, and their father…known simply as Baba. They—along with 15 other siblings—made up my host family during a time spent in the arid region of southern Madagascar, where I was doing research on the Antandroy communities.
I often think back to this family with bittersweet fondness. When I was there, I was profoundly inspired by their love for life and their appreciation of the simple joys it brings…while endlessly cheered by their wide grins and generous laughter.
But now, when I glance at this photo, their visage seems to reveal a truth much deeper…and my heart aches a little.
Nevertheless, the sound of their laughter will remain with me forever, and I am thankful to have met them…and grateful for the lessons they taught me in treasuring the simple moments in life.
• Our village specialized in ‘bageda’…sweet potatoes. After harvesting, we would bring them to the market and trade them for maize. Although only Hanitra and Puppydoc are pictured above…
This time of year always reminds Puppydoc to be thankful for all those who have come into her life, past and present…to cherish the memories of those who have left and to treasure each moment with those who are here.
Founded in 2013 by Phoebe Chi, MD, PhoebeMD: Medicine + Poetry is a health information and literary arts website that aims to inspire, empower, and inform through a curated mix of essential health information, uplifting stories, and original poetry.